Spider Nursery?

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Spider Nursery?

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:42 am

I think the pictures below are of a spider nursery amongst some of my box elder seedlings. Can anyone easily identify them? If beneficial spiders I will leave them to their own devices. If nasty spiders or some other pest I will spray them with something other than the water the trees get.




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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  M. Frary on Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:32 am

Now that's creepy. How do box elder work as bonsai? That's really creepy. I wouldn't care if those things were good or bad I'd eradicate them immediately. Did I say that was some creepy %$&#?

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:33 am

I agree they were creepy at first, but then they looked kind of cool. And knowing how many pests that spiders eat I figured I would keep them around.

Boxelder make a passable bonsai of medium to large size. The neat things about the ones I have is that they get a warty bark fairly soon and they back bud like crazy. The leaves are a bit large, but reduce somewhat.

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  arihato on Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:56 am

This is likely the same species



They are the future helpers eating a lot of pests, so I leave them be. If it weren't for spiders and other insect predators we would be knee deep in bugs.

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:28 pm

I agree. Spiders are our friends. There are only a very, very few spiders that are harmful to warm-blooded animals and they are relatively rare and solitary. M. Frary, you really should leave them alone if you find them. They'll disperse quickly.

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  M. Frary on Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:52 am

I caught a hornet building a nest in one of my elm bonsai the other day. A quick shot of bee and wasp killer and he dispersed rather quickly too. What can I say? A couple spiders aren't no problem but a big old ball of them? Somewhere else is fine but in my trees? Bye bye big old ball of spiders.

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:50 am

The spiders have spread out across a web that is about 6" x 6" (15 cm x 15 cm) instead of being in a pair of balls that were 1" (2.5 cm) diameter. It will be interesting to watch how the disperse.

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  coh on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:58 am

Interestingly enough, I was out watering my trees this morning and something "strange" caught my eye. Upon closer inspection - a ball of spiders exactly like this! The same exact coloration (yellow with the dark markings) too. I was going to take a photo this evening but they had already dispersed...there were a few left elsewhere on the tree but most were gone. Oh well, it was a neat sight to see.

Anyone who comes across something like this - just leave them alone! They'll spread out, many won't survive anyway, but the ones that do will pay you back by catching insects that might damage your trees. Win-win (as long as the spiders aren't a dangerous type like black widows). We'd all be better off by encouraging beneficial insects and spiders rather than grabbing the pesticide every time we see a "bug".

Hornets...yeah, you don't want a nest of those in your bonsai!

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:07 pm

We'd all be better off by encouraging beneficial insects and spiders rather than grabbing the pesticide every time we see a "bug".

Yep. And I really hope that hornet spray didn't damage whatever tree it was sprayed into.

The nuclear option is not always the best way to go.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  Dave Murphy on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:27 pm

coh wrote:Interestingly enough, I was out watering my trees this morning and something "strange" caught my eye. Upon closer inspection - a ball of spiders exactly like this! The same exact coloration (yellow with the dark markings) too. I was going to take a photo this evening but they had already dispersed...there were a few left elsewhere on the tree but most were gone. Oh well, it was a neat sight to see.

Anyone who comes across something like this - just leave them alone! They'll spread out, many won't survive anyway, but the ones that do will pay you back by catching insects that might damage your trees. Win-win (as long as the spiders aren't a dangerous type like black widows). We'd all be better off by encouraging beneficial insects and spiders rather than grabbing the pesticide every time we see a "bug".

Hornets...yeah, you don't want a nest of those in your bonsai!
I couldn't agree more. Several times this year, I've gone out to work on a tree only to find a spider has woven a web amongst it's foliage...more often then not, I'll put off the work for a few days if feasible and let the spider do it's thing. They are usually gone in a few days and I can work the tree like I intended.

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Re: Spider Nursery?

Post  M. Frary on Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:08 pm

JimLewis wrote:
We'd all be better off by encouraging beneficial insects and spiders rather than grabbing the pesticide every time we see a "bug".

Yep.  And I really hope that hornet spray didn't damage whatever tree it was sprayed into.

The nuclear option is not always the best way to go.  

Chinese elm takes to manmade chemicals very well.

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