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Insects affecting Japanese Maple Trees

Common Insects of Japanese maple trees

Japanese maple trees are normally not affected by many insects. Aphids are small insects about the size of a ball point pen tip, they will occasionally be found feeding on new tender growing tips of Japanese maple trees. Aphids will change their color based on the color of the plant juices they are feeding on. Although aphids can multiply quickly, unless populations become excessively heavy, they seldom do much damage. Aphids can easily be controlled with many general insecticides found at your local nursery or garden center. Spider mites are another insect that can also feed on Japanese maple trees, and are harder to detect than aphids. These tiny insects are about the size of a pin head. Spider mites reproduce rapidly during hot dry weather and live on the under sides of leaves, this makes them tough to eradicate. The damage from spider mites is hard to detect by the untrained eye. If the mature leaves appear appear speckled or faded in color, I recommend checking for spider mites by placing a white piece of paper under the leaves and tap the leaves vigorously. This method will knock the mites from the leaves and onto the paper. Next, take a very close look at the paper, spider mites will be reddish colored or light colored with two brown spots on their back. Spider mites are sucking insects and drain the leaves of vital juices needed to keep the cells turgid and alive. General insecticides will not kill spider mites a miticide must be used. Contact you local nursery or garden center, they can provide you with the necessary controls. Slugs and snails are a potential pests that feed on the leaves. These little guys are also hard to detect because, they feed at night and hide during the day. There are chemical controls and baits that can help control slugs and snails. An aluminum pie tin filled with beer, can be set around the floor of a greenhouse or garden, this will bait and drowned them. Slugs and snails are very harmful if diseases are present, they will spread the disease from plant to plant as they are traveling around the greenhouse or garden. For information about diseases affecting Japanese Red Maples click here.


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