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These appeared last year and resulted to premature discolouration and loss of leaves. It seem they have overwintered and going to cause a damage this year as well.

What are they, and most importantly, how do I get rid of them?

I tried neem oil last year, as well as pressured water, but none seems to affect them much.

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  • Are you from the UK by any chance? In normal circumstances a hard winter would have killed these off but all manner of flying pests have fired up with a vengeance in Britain this year. I remain dubious of neem oil in that dosages always seem variable. You have 2 options, either ignore them & hope for a bad winter or use a more potent pesticide. The type depending upon the length of your beech borders and any plants in and around the trees. I couldn't work out if they were white flies or mealy bugs which have have cotton wool on their backs.
    – Nikki
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 20:59
  • From Netherlands. The same happened here last summer during the extreme heat period. Even my English Ivy was swarming with aphids. I will try to post a better / closer picture. Commented May 25, 2023 at 4:56

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These are wooly beech aphids and according to RHS they don’t pose any threat to the plant, although they may be a nuisance to the gardener.

RHS considers them as a healthy part of the ecosystem and doesn’t recommend countering them.

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