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Cooleys Spruce Gall Aphids

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by plants 'n pots on May 03, 2006 06:47 AM
Hi all...

This is the spruce tree that Don was cleaning out 2 days ago. Many of the inside branches were bare, and a bit dusty and had this "thing" at the end of the branch" that almost looked like a pinecone, but wasn't. I took 2 samples to the nursery yesterday and was told it has Cooleys Spruce Gall Aphids. Said they've probably been there for at least 2 years now. Also said to spray it with Malathion - we really try to stay away from chemicals like those...

I read up a bit on it, and it says that these aphids alternate between spruces and Douglas firs - we don't have any firs, neither do our direct neighbors. Will have to take a look around the block to see who does.

Anyone have experience with this before?
Suggestions?
This tree started out as a Christmas Tree for the original house owners here, and it now as tall as our 3 story house. We'd really hate to lose it!

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Triss on May 03, 2006 06:51 AM
That is a beautiful tree and area you have around it. It would be so sad to lose it. Hope you can manage to save it without harming other stuff in the area!

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by The Plant Doc on May 03, 2006 02:34 PM
There is no way to treat spruce gall and stay away from chemicals, but what you can do is contact your local tree specialist and see if they can do an injection directly into the tree, that way there is sure not to be any drift. Another possibility would be deep root injections of a systemic insecticide. Both treatments of this type should wait until later in the summer or early fall as the tree is filled with sap right now, and the application would have very little effect.
FYI, unless you buy totally "organically grown veggies" you have already been exposed to Malathion, as it is one of the most popular insecticides used by growers, since it is labeled for use on food crops. This does not mean that I would gargle with it, but it is one of the less toxic to human insecticides that is out there.
It does do a very good job on insects, and will take out fish too if you have it gets into a pond or stream.

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Mike Maier
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The Plant Doc
by The Plant Doc on May 03, 2006 02:36 PM
I should proof read before I post [Confused]

It should have read, "it will take out fish too if it is applied to a pond or stream."

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by plants 'n pots on May 03, 2006 02:50 PM
Thanks, Mike. I do have my small bathtub pond not too far from this tree, so that's another reason I don't want Malathion sprayed around there. I'll call around and see about the alternatives you mentioned. [thumb]

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"

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