Ornamental Cherry: Aphids

categories: Ornamental Cherry Ornamental Cherry Insects Ornamental trees Ornamentals

revision date: 2024-06-05 02:04

Curled, distorted leaves from black cherry aphid feeding.
Curled, distorted leaves from black cherry aphid feeding
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli


Several aphids attack flowering cherries, including the black cherry aphid. Black cherry aphids are small black insects which typically feed on the new growth, causing the expanding leaves to curl and distort and tip growth to be reduced. These and other aphids produce large amounts of honeydew, a sweet, sticky material excreted by the insects during feeding. The honeydew may attract ants or become covered with a dark growth of sooty mold.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Wash aphids from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Remove aphids by hand (when practical) to control small infestations.
  • Natural predators and parasites, including ladybird beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, help control aphid populations.
  • Control honeydew-feeding ants, which may protect aphid colonies.
  • Provide proper nutrition. High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage aphid reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Thorough coverage of the foliage is important, including lower leaf surfaces (follow label instructions for products applied as a drench).
  • Apply one of the following when aphid buildup is noticed!
  • Use oils at delayed dormant stage, when buds just begin to swell.
  • Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall.
  • Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.

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