Q: I went to trim the pussywillow bush, but when I examined it closer there was a patch of tiny little gray bugs. When I took a stick and poked at them they came off easily and what looked like blood smeared everywhere. Do you have any idea what they are and are they harmful to bush and or surrounding trees?
Sounds like aphids, but of course I can't be sure. They feed on the tips of the branches preferring new growth. A stiff stream of water will knock them off. Do this every three to four days until no more appear. Of course if you prune back the bush you will cut them off. Take a sample to you local independent garden center for a positive ID. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.