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white fungus on apple trees

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samuel23 | 21:35 Sat 01st Aug 2009 | Gardening
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Hi all you AB gardeners. I wonder if you can offer some advice and help. I have four apple trees in the garden and they all suffer from a white fungus. Not sure what it is and if you touch it it leaves you with a sort of reddish purple stain on your fingers. The cherry, pear, plum and fig trees don't have it and it seems to attract the ants in their millions. None of the bug sprays seem to touch it, it sort of washes it off and within a couple of days it is back. Derris dust doesn't affect it and the only way I have found to control it is to get a bucket of water and a cloth and wipe all the trees down. This gives me about a week to ten days before it is back. Will I just have to put up with this or is there a simple remedy? I'm not the best gardener in the world, but as these are otherwise healthy, fruit producing trees I would like to keep them

T.I.A.

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There are powdery mildew type fungi that you could experience, but the purple or reddish stain is immediately telling that this is not fungus but Wooly Aphids... sometimes called Mealy phids... Here in the U.S. the little critters are covered with a waxy substance which makes them difficult to treat with chemicals.

One treatment that works well here is any product containing Neem Oil. It's made in India from Chrysanthemum flowers. Very eco-friendly. Additionally, repeated treatments of a mixture of warm water, dish soap and a little vinegar will do the trick. Your not the first to surmise fungus when in fact it's these agravting little insects...

Best of luck!

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