The Acacia tree, which belongs to Fabaceae family of plants, is quite vulnerable to pests and hence demands proper care and protection if grown in backyard or garden. In a natural environment, the plant can protect itself from the attack by mealy bugs and scale insects by allowing acacia ants to build their nests on it. In return, these insects protect the plant against pests, which may harm the plant. However, while growing Acacia trees in backyard gardens, the gardener needs to provide the necessary protection to the plants from insects and pests. Following are some simple tips to protect the Acacia tree from pests.
Keep the Weeds Away
It is very important to keep the weeds and shrubs away from the plant as they become a breeding ground for insects and pests. Since many species of Acacia trees lack vital chemicals that repel the insects and pests, they are vulnerable to pest attacks. By removing the unnecessary plants and weeds that grow near the Acacia trees, you can check the attacks of mealy bugs and scale insects.
Allow the Ants to Build Nests
Ants might be small creatures, but they are formidable predators when they attack their prey in a group. In a natural environment, ants and Acacia trees maintain a symbiotic relationship for survival. While the latter offers shelter and nutrition, the former acts as a protector against bugs and insects.
Insects that generally feed on leaves and bark of the Acacia tree are very slow moving. They generally tend to settle in one part of the tree and remain there until they have consumed whatever they can from that particular part of the tree, including the leaves and bark. Most of these insects first need to climb the tree. If barriers are erected along the shoots of the tree or the main trunk, then their movement can be stalled completely.
Grow Insect Repellant Plants
There are several naturally occurring plants which have inherent pest repellent capabilities. These plants act as alternatives to insecticides and pesticides as they can be used to keep bugs and insects away. If one has ample space in the garden, then it is advisable to grow insect repellant plants such as Citronella and Neem around the Acacia trees. This way, one can protect the plant from the attack by insects and pests on the ground. It is necessary to keep them at a short distance from the Acacia trees so that they do not compete with the tree for nutrients.
Remove the Infected Portion
In the event that any portion of the tree gets infected, it is necessary to remove the entire infected part so that the infection does not spread to other parts of the plant. Since the plants grow throughout their lives, the removal of the infected part does not affect the growth of the plant and in course of time, the plant will regenerate the removed portion.