We have decided to remove two espalier apple trees that we've had for several years, as they are now, despite best efforts with various treatments, overcome with woolly aphid damage. However, we usually plant vegetables such as lettuce, beans, etc. in the same bed, as it has the best orientation. Will the bugs survive in the soil and destroy other plants also? Thank you, Barbara
Woolly Aphid in Soil Under Apple Trees
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
There are numerous species of wooly aphids, but it sounds like you had the "wooly apple aphid" which feeds on apple tree bark and roots. It is generally not considered a foliar pest in vegetable gardens. That being said, you should be okay, unless you sprayed a chemical application that would affect the soil around the trees.
If you decide to replace your apple tree, choose one grafted onto a wooly apple aphid resistant rootstock.