Cherry Tree Bugs

Cherry trees can be beautiful to behold all year round, from sporting angelic blossoms in the spring to delicious sweet fruits in the summer. Although cherry trees can be a wonderful asset to any garden, they can be notoriously difficult to grow and maintain as they can be prone to attack from pests or damage from diseases. 

If you are currently considering which type of cherry tree is best for you, please be aware that there are certain species of the tree which are resistant to aphids, unlike the fruiting or ornamental species. 

If you have noticed black spots or bugs on your cherry hedge plant leaves, these could be caused due to several reasons. One of the most common black bugs found on Prunus trees are cherry blackflies. However, you may also spot another pest called the pear and cherry slug worm. 

What Is A Cherry Blackfly?

The cherry blackfly are a species of aphid which feed on both ornamental and fruiting cherry trees. You may see them in large clusters on the underside of leaves, which is where they live and lay their eggs. 

As cherry aphids prefer to eat the sap from leaves, you may find that they leave the foliage on trees looking curled and damaged. This happens because they target the shoot tips, which in turn results in leaves growing crumpled. 

If you own a fruiting cherry tree, you can rest assured that your flowers and fruits will be mostly untouched as the aphids are generally more interested in the leaves and shoots of the plant. 

 How To Deal With A Cherry Blackfly Infestation?

If you would like to find a more permanent solution to dealing with your cherry blackfly infestation, there are several options available. 

  1. Spraying the insects with an organic pesticide. such as horticultural oil which can help prevent the aphids from hatching during early spring. You will want to avoid spraying your cherry tree with a pesticide that is for broad use as you may risk killing other essential insects. 
  2. Other pesticide alternatives include spraying your cherry tree with insecticidal soap, although if you would like to use this option please be sure to spray your plants when there are no bees present. 
  3. Introducing natural predators to the environment. This includes insects such as ladybugs, hoverfly larvae, syrphid flies and certain species of parasitoid wasp. 

How To Deal With A Pear And Cherry Slugworm Infestation?

Slugworm larvae pests can be dealt with fairly easily. Take a look below to explore your options: 

  1. Pick off the larvae by hand when checking your cherry plants. The insects will become visible by June onwards, which is when you can manually begin to remove them. This method is perhaps the most cost-effective and least damaging to other wildlife that may live in your tree. 
  2. Washing off any slugs with jets of water.
  3. Spraying your plants with insecticide can be a quicker method to effectively rid your cherry plants of slugworm larvae. This method is ideal for smaller growing plants as opposed to larger established trees as the insect is unlikely to cause serious damage to them.