Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
In some years, woolly beech aphid can be abundant and whilst its appearance can be alarming it rarely causes damage to trees and hedges.
Woolly beech aphid
Aphids, also known as greenfly and blackfly, are sap-sucking insects. Woolly beech aphid can make the foliage of beech trees and hedges sticky with the honeydew it excretes.
Woolly beech aphid is quite distinctive;
Woolly beech aphid does not usually seriously affect the health of beech trees and hedges and control is usually not required. Where serious infestations do occur this tends to be temporary and plants are not usually affected year after year.
Aphids have many natural enemies, including ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and several parasitoid wasps.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Woolly beech aphid overwinters as eggs that are laid around buds and in bark crevices in autumn. The eggs hatch in spring a few weeks after new foliage has appeared.
The pale yellow aphids suck sap from the underside of leaves and can form dense colonies that are hidden under a white waxy fluff that is secreted by the aphids. They also excrete a sugary honeydew that makes the foliage sticky and encourages the growth of sooty moulds. Heavily infested leaves may be distorted but otherwise the tree’s growth is unaffected.
For most of spring and summer, the aphids are wingless forms that reproduce by producing live young. In mid-summer, winged forms develop that fly off in search of new host plants. These winged woolly beech aphids can be mistaken for glasshouse whitefly or woolly aphid, neither of which occur on beech.
Chemical labels explained
Chemicals: using a sprayer
Chemicals: using safely and effectively
Currant blister aphid
Green spruce aphid
Mealy cabbage aphid
Pear bedstraw aphid
Protect your garden
Raspberry and blackberry aphids
RHS statement on pesticides in horticulture
Rose root aphid
Rosy apple aphid
Willow bark aphid
Woolly vine or currant scale
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.