Taylor County UW-Extension can offer help with horticultural questions, although there is not a Horticulture Agent on staff. UW-Extension has many excellent publications and web-based information available on a wide range of horticultural topics and also has state specialists who can help answer questions. Our staff can help you find the information you need.
What is the white fuzzy creature on my maple trees, flying through the air, or landing on other plants?
You’re most likely seeing a wooly alder aphid, also called a wooly maple blight aphid. The two names reflect its life cycle – it spends part of its life on silver maple and part on alder. While, like other aphids, the wooly aphid sucks juice from its host plants, it does not usually endanger the plant. However, the juice, called honeydew, that is exuded from these insects may leave a sticky residue on your car or outdoor furniture. Here is an excellent article about wooly aphids.
Related Links of Interest
- Landscape Plants that Attract Birds – caution: Japanese Barberry, which is included in this list of plants, is an invasive species; please do not plant this species.
- UW-Extension Learning Store Lawn and Garden Publications
- UW-Extension – Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
- UW – Department of Entomology Insect Diagnostic Lab
- Wisconsin Division of Extension Horticulture
- UW – Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory
- University of Wisconsin Dept. of Horticulture
- Wisconsin Master Gardener Program
- The Wisconsin Gardener – Wisconsin Public Television
- Garden Talk – Wisconsin Public Radio
- WisFlora – Flora of Wisconsin
- WisFlora – Wisconsin State Herbarium and UW-Madison
- UW-Green Bay, Cofrin Center for Biodiversity – Herbarium
- University of Connecticut Plant Database of Wood Landscape Plants
- USDA Plants Database
- Invasive Plant Association of Wisconsin
- Weed Science Society of America (Note that not all listed plants are weeds.)
- Wisconsin Phenological Society
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Ohio State Beekeepers Association Online Class