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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Sticky Mess Under Trees

Posted by John Fulton -

People are once again complaining about leaking sap coming from trees. What happens is a fine mist of sap coats things beneath a tree. This is actually called "honeydew," which is a secretion of sucking insects such as aphids and lacebugs. What makes matters worse is a fungus begins growing in the honeydew, making it turn black.

There are two ways to deal with the problem. The first way is to spray the entire tree with a product, such as malathion, to kill the insects. The second way is to move anything portable from under the tree. If you opt for the first option, you need to make sure you can spray the entire tree. The presence of the syrphid flies this early indicates there is a food source available – such as the aphids causing the honeydew secretions.

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