Beech Blight Aphids

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You might notice twigs on beech trees covered in a woolly sleeve. Get closer and it will begin to wiggle and sway. This is a group of beech blight aphids (

Beech blight aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) on a beech twig. Photo:SD Frank

Beech blight aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) on a beech twig. Photo:SD Frank

). These are very fun to watch and a great way to engage kids and other folks in nature. They are not typically damaging to trees but do create a lot of honeydew that may create patches of sooty mold on the ground. The year after a twig is infested the twig may have some black irregular structures. These can easily be pruned from trees. If the aphids become bothersome a stream of water or horticultural soap or oil will dislodge them.

Twigs previously infested with beech blight aphids. Photo: SD Frank

Twigs previously infested with beech blight aphids. Photo: SD Frank