Strange Apple disease?
During some Tree surgery in Stafford, we were working in a garden with a few apple trees. All of which had a strange white fluff on them...
Woolly Aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum)
This woolly aphid was found on an apple tree. Colonies of small brown aphids covered by tufts of woolly white wax usually infests stems, branches and the roots of apple trees but can also effect Ornamental crab apples, Cotoneasters and Pyracantha.
In the photos you can see irregular bulging and swelling on the twigs and branches, this is caused by the Woolly aphid. These aphids overwinter in bark, galls and cracks in the tree.
Wingless aphids develop during summer which crawl all over the host plant as well as winged aphids which develop and begin to fly off to other host plants.
It was thought to be accidentally introduced into Europe from North America and first reported by Sir Joseph Banks from London in 1787.