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Cherry Trees

Q.tiny black mite on Bing Cherry tree

Zone San Francisco Bay area | PLATO54 added on May 21, 2014 | Answered

I have a tiny black mite on the Bing Cherry tree that congregates on the leaves and causes them to curl. How to get rid of them? The mites seem to have a symbiotic relationship with the ants. When the mites show up seasonally, there appears to be a whole population of ants (a colony), even though I flooded the area copiously. It appears they are attending to the mites up and down the tree. Nevertheless, the black mites cause the leaves of the cherry tree to curl under and this goes on until the fruit is involved and the tree is overwhelmed.

I have tried spraying and using soap solutions, etc. Nothing seems to work completely, so I wind up tearing the leaves off and physically getting rid of the mites and ants. The funny thing is this happens only to the one tree while the other cherry tree is free of pests. I’m just going to dump the tree and roots and mites and ants eventually but wondered what this was and what I could have done to prevent the cycle from happening again?

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Answered on May 22, 2014

Since the ants are "tending" them, I think the black bugs are probably some specie of aphids. This article should give you some ideas about dealing with them: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/homemade-aphid-control-a-natural-way-to-kill-aphids.htm
Don't give up. Keep your tree healthy as possible, and keep a positive mind. You can put those ants and their minions back in their place - somewhere away from your tree.

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