The Q&A Archives: Aphids Killing My Chokecherry!

Question: I have a very young Chokecherry tree bought in the spring. I got it planted, water it daily, then it started dying. Upon closer inspection, I noted aphids! I bought Ladybugs first. Then when that didn't work I got some organic spray. Now all the leaves are purple and drying up and the aphids are STILL there! The limbs seem to be rubbery so I'm hoping I can save it. Please help!

Answer: I think there are two problems here - aphid feeding can make the branches limp, but so can over watering. If you are still watering it daily, you are essentially suffocating the roots. Overly wet soils are deplete of oxygen. Plant roots need oxygen as well as moisture. So, adjust your watering. One or two deep soakings per week is all your tree needs. Apply water slowly so it soaks in and wets the entire root system, then allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. As for the aphids, you can hose them off the tree with a strong stream of water from the hose or you can control them with insecticidal soap sprays. Be sure to spray both the upper and lower leaf surfaces and repeat according to label directions. Good luck with your chokecherry tree!

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