Ants On Dogwood Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Boones Mill, VA
Avatar for whitefam9
Question by whitefam9
May 30, 2001
We planted a few dogwoods this spring in a shady (lots of pine trees) area. We are now seeing lots of holes in the leaves and have found small ants on them. Do these ants eat the leaves or do you think it's something else? Will it kill the trees? What can we do to eliminate them?

Answer from NGA
May 30, 2001
I would be surprised if the ants are eating the leaves, however they may be on the trees in search of sap flowing from damage made by aphids. Aphids are sucking, soft bodied insects that tend to congregate and feed on the tender new growth tips. They can be treated with insecticidal soap or washed off with a strong spray of water from the hose. As to the holes, I would suggest you contact your county extension for help in identifying the cause for those, as a localized reason could vary from say hail damage to an unusual insect problem of some kind. Good luck with your trees!

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