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Thread: Ants on my cherry tree?

  1. #1
    WelshGirl's Avatar
    WelshGirl is offline Seedling
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    Default Ants on my cherry tree?

    About a month ago I planted a Summer Sun cherry tree in the garden, and since then I've noticed the occasional black ant walking up and down the trunk which I've brushed off and not thought anything of. However, this morning I noticed rather a few more ants gathered around the just-opening leaf buds on the top branches.
    So... Will the ants harm the tree? And how do I get rid of them?
    My mum suggested pouring boiling water on them, but as they're actually on the tree, surely boiling water will hurt the tree too?

  2. #2
    Nicos's Avatar
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    Have you checked the tree for cherry Aphid??- the ants would certainly be milking them if that's what the problem is?

    Definitely NO boiling water on the tree!!!!!..what are mums like???
    ...do you think she actually meant on the nest in the ground????
    Sprinkling polenta around the nest will help kill the ants off.

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    crichmond's Avatar
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    You can stop the ants climbing the tree by using grease bands around the trunk, but as Nicos says they maybe milking aphids so that is another problem you may need to sort out. I know that greenfly are about as the new growth on the roses in the front garden have them on, so it looks like its time to spray with the mix of water, washing up liquid and rubarb leaf liquid.
    _____________
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    Beware Greeks bearing gifts, or have you already got a wooden horse?... hehe.

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    FB.'s Avatar
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    As mentioned; the ants will be farming aphids on the new shoots.
    The ants milk the aphids and in return, the aphids get the ants to protect them from predators such as ladybird and hoverflay larva.

    Killing or removing the aphids will cause the ants to lose interest.

    Preventing the ants climbing the tree will allow predators to attack the aphids without the ants fighting them off.
    Last edited by FB.; 06-04-2009 at 09:46 PM.

  5. #5
    WelshGirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I've been out and had a good look over the tree, and there aren't any aphids on it.
    I've been looking for an ants nest nearby as well, but I haven't come across it yet... So, without aphids for the ants to protect, will the ants on their own do any damage to the tree?

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    FB.'s Avatar
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    It has been claimed that ants will carry aphids form somewhere else, to start new colonies. I would keep a close watch on what is happening. Sooner or later, either the ants will transport aphids, or aphids will arrive for the ants to farm.
    A week or two ago, my apples had ants running around. Now the aphids are appearing.
    Last edited by FB.; 08-04-2009 at 06:07 PM.

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    crichmond's Avatar
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    If you get a tub of vaseline or grease you can use this to paint a band of it round the tree about 1.5ft from the ground and a couple of inches wide, this acts the same as buying boltac grease bands except that you cant just peel it off like grease bands. To remove it you need to use a rag to rub it off or a rag and soapy water.
    _____________
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    Beware Greeks bearing gifts, or have you already got a wooden horse?... hehe.

  8. #8
    galadriel123 is offline Germinator
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    FB, just read about the ants and aphids, - ive got them in my cherry tree. Now ive got an additional question - the aphids seem to shrivel up the leafs? will it damage my tree? it seems the new shots are being shriveled up aswell, will it do any lasting damage to my tree, to leave the aphids there? or if necessary - how do i get rid of them? (With least amoutn of poison if poss....)
    its my first little cherry tree and i am very attached to it, want it healthy and happy...

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