Crab Apple Root Mould

zedmarcus

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Hi all you knowledgeable people.
So I was moving some of my bonsai into the shed the other day (was going to be a frozen windy night), when my little crab apple fell over and came out of the pot. The whole root ball came out in one complete ball. I popped it straight back in the pot, but not before I noticed there was some white mould all over the roots. I've attached a few pictures. So, is this anything to worry about? The tree is a new one I've only had for a month or so (from Greenwood Bonsai in Nottingham).
Thanks, Zed.
 

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parhamr

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+1 for root aphids

They’re likely on your other trees, too. I recommend you make a note to your future self to apply beneficial nematodes in mid March, 2021.
 

sorce

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I don't doubt em... but it is a little hard to tell.

Just wouldn't want you poisoning the family dog for something that didn't really exist!

Sorce
 

penumbra

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I'm with sorce here. Make sure of what you have as it is not all that evident from the pictures.
 

parhamr

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Only will mycorrhizae typically make a similar appearance in soil, but not quite like this, and rarely on a Malus.

It’s root aphids.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Any recommendations for a good insecticide to use?
Since everyone has their doubts, and I feel pretty confident today, pop out that rootball and make sure it's aphids.
Regular anti aphids stuff like pyrethrins should work. Neemoil could work too and wouldn't kill your dog.
 

Shibui

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I have not seen mycorrhiza on apples but I have frequently seen woolly aphid on the roots so I would check closer and try to work out if there are living creatures among the white fluff. Woolly aphid can set trees back a lot.

Contact pesticides are not particularly effective on root aphids because it does not penetrate right through the root ball. You could try a root drench with one of the contact pesticides mentioned.
Systemics are very effective because it circulates right through the plant but I understand those may not be available in Europe now.
You could try peroxide as a treatment. I've just used a soil drench for fungus gnats in indoor plants and it appears to have been very successful. I suspect it would also deal with root aphids. No toxic byproducts or residuals to harm the dog or kids.
 

zedmarcus

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Ok. So upon closer inspection there are what appear to be small bugs present (root aphids?).
Added a couple more pictures but not easy to see them.
I went to my local garden centre this morning but they didn't have anything that looked suitable. Neem oil is on order and should be delivered in the next couple of days, at which point I'll do a root soak with it.
 

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leatherback

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In your first pictures the aphids were also visible. ;)

The second picture you posted just now is over-obvious, bottom left.

Any water-soluble systemic insecticide will do. Drech the pot with it, repeat at the right interval (See label).
 

zedmarcus

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In your first pictures the aphids were also visible. ;)

The second picture you posted just now is over-obvious, bottom left.

Any water-soluble systemic insecticide will do. Drech the pot with it, repeat at the right interval (See label).
Thanks for the swift response. Only thing I have to hand right now is the attached, but I'm guessing that's not the right stuff to be using?
 

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Wires_Guy_wires

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Thanks for the swift response. Only thing I have to hand right now is the attached, but I'm guessing that's not the right stuff to be using?
Leaf aphids are - at least to my knowledge - very much related to root aphids so this product should be effective.
A neem oil treatment as a do-over wouldn't hurt.
 

zedmarcus

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Update. So I've sprayed all of my trees with a diluted Neem oil spray today (at the recommended dilution as on the bottle). Gave them all a good soak. Also applied heavily to the soil / roots of the crab apple. Fingers crossed, hopefully that should sort them all until Feb / March when the majority of them (including the crab apple) will get repotted. Thanks for the help / recommendations.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Thanks for the swift response. Only thing I have to hand right now is the attached, but I'm guessing that's not the right stuff to be using?
The "Resolva" might work, peel open the label and take a photo of what the active ingredients are. Lift the tree out of the pot and spray directly on the root mealies.

They are not "root aphids" they are "root mealie bugs", technically in the adelgid group of insects. Essentially a scale insect. Any pesticide that lists soft body and hard body scale will work on these root mealies, or root aphids as they have been called. They are not a true aphid, these are a scale insect.

Spinosad or possibly abamectin are "natural" fermentation product pesticides that might be available in the UK, they will work if the "Resolva" or the Neem oil does not work.

In the USA, i'd use imadaproclid as my first choice.
 

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