– Denise. We know that there’s a fungus or disease that is common to it, that can kill them. Learn more about what powdery mildew is, how it develops, and what you can do to prevent it. Grayish-white patches on the bark near pruning wounds or in branch crotches hide colonies of the insects. Thanks! Occasional pests here and there are going to happen to all trees as some point, but this is super easy to treat. Do you recommend the Bayer spray over washing the bark with soap and water like some sites have recommended? hlo…can I use insecticides for bark scale. I always use chemicals as a last resort. This can be a difficult pest to control and it may take multiple years of treatment. This article covers the topic of controlling Crepe Myrtle (also spelled Crepemyrtle, Crapemyrtle or Crape Myrtle) bark scale. Crape myrtle bark scale is relatively easy to identify. It is one of the only scales known to infest crape myrtles. Thank you!! I will be sharing more information and treatment plans for other common North Texas pests as they come about. Be sure to coat the trunk thoroughly. |. The crape myrtles here started blooming shortly after you posted this message. I should have used the word “Treat” and not “Spray”. Hi All, I treated my crepe Myrtle with Bayer Advance in the beginning of May. As with all chemicals, use as directed on the label only. -Denise. Bark scale attacked both our beautiful Crepe Myrtles last year. – Denise. Should I peel off the black parts of the bark before I spray it? Please help me!!! Hi Abril, I am so sorry for the slow reply. That was last weekend. For the first time after 10 years, the tree did Not blossom ( no indication of one single flower). Thx for all the advice here and your time, Hi Mike, Honestly I would try to save them if you can. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. The disease is most serious in shady, damp locations, especially where plants are crowded … Aphids, scale, and mealybugs are common culprits. Scales are small white or gray bugs that collect on the trunk of trees. Hope this helps you and good luck! I frantically googled them and saw your blog! Your email address will not be published. It is really dry and crumbly when I touch it and it looks like it’s spreading to the healthy branches. Once the tree defoliates or before it puts on new foliage, spray with a dormant oil. I like mine smaller like a large bush. In one year, there could be at least two generations of CMBS. I’ve got about 30 CMs and almost all of them had the Bark Scale last year. 4 through 6). It has been around the Southeast for years but this insect showed its destructive little head in Arkansas in 2014. It comes in granular and liquid form, and provides 12-month long-lasting systemic protection against the scale. We were able to save the rest of the shrubs by doing this. It is used frequently in southern gardens because the hot summer climate allows it to thrive. They will be able to advise you better than I. Pamela, Hi Pamela, thanks for your question. I would go ahead and apply it now. You will oftentime see black sooty mold in addition to the white bark scale. As nearby shade trees grow and mature then the crape myrtles are left hidden underneath and struggle to get enough sunlight. For crepe myrtles, does this mean measure each trunk and add them together, or measure the overall circumference of the crepe at the base? Scale is just a part of life for crape owners now. Unless you have sandy soil, crepe myrtles don't need regular fertilization. I hope you have found this information helpful. I would like to have larger crape Myrtles in the back , tree height. This tree is heavily infested with CMBS; notice the gray and white insects all over and the black sooty mold covering the entire surface of the tree bark. Scale and aphids are the biggest nuisances that I see on crape myrtles. Another cause is too much shade. Mildew is a fungus; the white powder you see is made up of spores. It can completely cover and severely damage new plant growth. Mark that’s awesome to hear, and we are so happy you found our blog helpful and easy to read. So glad & thankful to have found this article! Hi Pamela, I am so glad you found my blog helpful. I’ve learned a lot via Google search regarding the Cotton White and black bark growth on my trees. Once the mated females produce their ovisacs (egg-containing capsules) and lay eggs, they die. A&M has identified this pest as Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, and suspects that it was brought into the U.S. on a crape myrtle plant. The entire tree turned black and sappy. Mix dishwashing soap with water and scrub the branches with a soft bristle brush. The drench will need to be applied to the drip line of the plant. Thanks for writing in Richard. Any additional knowledge is much appreciated! The scale sucks the sap from your branches and tree trunks and then the sugars and yeast in the sap attracts the mold. You can also treat again in the Spring as needed. Ugh! We Texans sure do love our crape myrtles, unfortunately so does this fairly new pest to North Texas called bark scale. During times when crapemyrtle trees are not in leaf, apply sprays of dormant oil (containing paraffin oil), taking care to apply under loose bark and in cracks and crevices. Older leaves are less likely to be affected, but can become infected under conditions favorable for the disease. Notice how beautiful the Crape Myrtles look around town after a nice rain passes through? One cause is underwatering. My question is, if this happens again, is there a preventative or can we treat them in an attempt to save them, or is it best to do what we did before? Of course I would prefer to save them if possible. University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service fact sheet, Great Holiday Plants For Gifts and Decorating, Arkansas Made Gift Ideas at The Good Earth, How to Control Bagworms in Your Landscape, Our Newest Houseplant ‘White Fusion’ Calathea. Is just the opposite. Hi Kathy, so glad you found my blog. Pickup all of the leafs on the ground as well and throw them away too. It is my understanding that these white bugs are exclusive to the crype myrtle, but I wasn’t sure if the Bayer product would affect the roots of any nearby plants in the same bed. If your crepe myrtle is affected by white scale, it may develop black sooty mold (In fact, the sooty, black substance may be the first sign of white scale on crepe myrtles.). I am so sorry to hear that you have such an ordeal with the scale. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! As with most insects, there are several life stages and the appearance of CMBS changes with the stages. If you smash one when it’s alive it will actually ooze a reddish-pink liquid. Thanks for visiting the blog. The oils do not work. Several factors can cause Crape Myrtles to not bloom, or bloom far less than others around DFW. Or will that make the problems worst? This evening I tried to spray them off w/the water hose and noticed they were moving…what a weird bug. Hi Ed, so sorry for the slow reply. The small CMBS males are winged and will fly to find females and to mate. Do not fear though, as it’s easy to treat. Thanks for your advice about white scale. Critters will always be out and about but only treat when you actually see something and try not to treat while they are blooming. This time of year the chemicals are more easily absorbed up the tree since this is the growing season. Good luck! Spring came and they still looked terrible. You can always check them by smashing them. Scale is easy to treat now that you know what you have. Your crape myrtles must be magical this time of year. It has black bark all over the tree (looks like it’s been there for years), but it’ll still blooming in some parts. I just heard that number at an educational seminar. You also said I can spray the Bayer any time the plant is NOT dormant? Here in our personal gardens we prune our crapes up about twice a year to keep the trunks cleaned up. Can I treat other plants around, with this same treatment, that this has spread to from my Crape Myrtles? The surface of an infected plant has a powder-like appearance (Fig. The crystals are composed of potassium and sugars and are said to be sweet-tasting. You can always just throw on a pair of gloves and go to town smashing all of the individual scale bugs. Crape myrtles are so hardy. Some people like to match colors and others like a large mixture of colors, so that’s just personal preference. -Denise. The Good Earth Garden Center has what you need to save your crapemyrtles….come see us! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. What happened? For mature adults, please apply Bayer Advanced. I have not tested this as we are always constantly monitoring our trees. Plants also become resistant to chemicals just like humans with antibiotics, so overuse is not recommended. Would this bark scale be the reason my myrtles didn’t bloom much this season? Closely examine the affected areas to properly identify the pest. This may be misleading since a more common and easy to control pest, aphids, can also cause sooty mold. This product is readily available online and at most local home & garden stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. Reach out with any additional questions. *Pictures of Crapemyrtle Bark Scale were provided by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. What we can see with the naked eye are harmless adults, but their younger form … Mildew thrives in warm, moist conditions. For example, if you have 5 trunks and the trunk circumference is 4 inches each, then you have a total of 20 inches in circumference. Heavily … The crepe myrtle, sometimes spelled crape myrtle or crapemyrtle, is a large, flowering tree. Yes with the Red Tip Photenias you likely have Entomosporium leaf spot. The best time of year to treat is between May-July when the scale are most active. I just notice the white … CMBS might be able to overwinter in the adult female and egg life stages, and crawlers and later stage nymphs have been observed overwintering under the loose bark and in cracks and crevices of crapemyrtles in our area. Humid or not, you can treat as long as its during the Spring, Summer and Fall. As the spots spread, the leaves and stems become covered in a white, puffy substance that causes the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Is it too late to bother treating or should I leave the scales alone until spring? Heavy infestations of crape myrtle bark scale are easy to spot and identify: Look for crape myrtles with heavy accumulations of black sooty mold on the leaves, limbs, and trunk. Im so disappointed. I would definitely recommend that you contact Bayer with those questions. It's easy to spot. Apply a soil drench of an imidacloprid product such as Ferti-Lome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench during this period. I would like to knew how using a systemic pesticide will affect all of the bees that nectar on the Crepe Myrtle flowers? Stephanie, my apologies for my slow reply. Initially, the infection begins as sporadic, circular, and powdery white spots. So glad I found this post! CMBS might be able to overwinter in the adult female and egg life stages, and crawlers and later stage nymphs have been observed overwintering under the loose bark and in cracks and crevices of crapemyrtles in our area. They are just enjoying the sap that is already out on the bark and are not doing any additional damage to the tree. I don’t have a talent for these things. Treat your infected jasmine leaves with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil spray. Crape myrtle bark scale is a messy insect pest that leaves behind a sticky honeydew residue in which black sooty mold will develop. I will make that correction to my blog. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite, I seem to just kill any plant given to me; even following written instructions. I always use chemicals as a last resort. Mix with water as directed, and apply in a band along the drip line of the plant, as a soil drench. This imidacloprid product is a soil drench that is watered into the root zone, specifically in the drip line of the tree (above graphic) where the feeder roots are located. Also be aware that the shell of the bark scale can remain on the bark for a extended amount of time as well. -Denise, You are so welcome Calby! The white shells often take a while to fall off but you can gently brush them off to make the tree cosmetically more attractive. The scale is a sucking insect that feeds on the phloem (sap) of plants. -Denise. As with most insects, there are several life stages and the appearance of CMBS changes with the stages. That’s probably why that ant is in the picture. Their is no cure for this disease no matter what blogs you find on the internt. The scale pictures were taken by my talented photog friend, Lauren. As they mature they will get fewer shoots off the trunks but the sprouts will still come up. Should I use a mask when cleaning the scale off? I will post pictures of what I am seeing. This can be done multiple times. Although this step isn’t completely necessary, it can reduce female scale insects and egg masses and make chemical controls more effective. I hope to encourage people to enjoy their homes, indoors and out. You will see a pinkish red ooze come out when smashed if still alive. Are we gonna just take this or are we gonna fight? Up close, CMBS is whit… In one year, there could be at least two generations of CMBS. I was going to plant some new boxwoods and perennials in the bed, and put down new mulch & decorative rock. The leaves look healthy, the plant is growing nicely, NO flowering at all. Third cause could be tree stress and shock from pests. The best window for control is late April or early May as the crapemyrtles begin to really flush, and can be applied through July. So, how do we fight this pest? You mention Bayer systemic protection first, then later say the “best time to SPRAY is…”. – Denise, How long after I treat the CM W/the Bayer Tree & Shrub does it take to kill the Eriococcus lagerstroemiae. Apply Ferti-Lome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench. 3), and badly infected leave… Yes, the black sooty mold will fade off the back over time. Wherever this honeydew lands, the stems, leaves and trunk get very sticky and then a black sooty mold will form. After the scale has died you will just see a white shell as shown in the pictures above and you will not be able to see any pink coming from the scale once smashed. I live in Northern Virginia and just noticed (June) little white dots all over my beautiful 20 year old 18 foot Crepe Myrtle. My husband wanted to cut them down but I insisted we wait it out until the next growing season. Thank you. The application rate depends on the tree trunk size, so you will just need to measure around the tree trunk and then pour the appropriate portion of granules or liquid around the base of the tree. Heavily infected flowers may fail to open. You can also use neem oil or an all-natural pesticide spray to get rid of scales. This disease is spread by spores and causes a gray or white film to cover the leaves and sometimes branches of the magnolia tree. Hi Parke, thank you for your question. Have your crapes bloomed since? It’s easy to catch and crapes bounce right back. Will the black bark change back to it original bark color? Receive timely tips, sales, events and education program information. We do have to spray a few times for it at our farm. It has great & simple info on how to identify and treat scales on our crepe myrtles. I also noticed a lot of little black bugs down at the bottom of the trunk. Thanks! We are happy to help. I would not wait and I would go ahead and plant them. Keep reading! One thing I was wondering that I didn’t see asked is about replacing. For the back some of the large crape myrtles are the Natchez, Muskogee and Tuscarora. Howard Garrett probably has some oil treatment or something wild, but please don’t waste your money on such things. Spraying the bark with water does not work. Hi Trudy, Thanks for your message. They are still in the active growing phase. In addition to the presence of these bumps there is often also an emergence of unsightly black sooty-looking mold which develops resembling black dust on the leaves and bark of the crape myrtle plant.These are the defining characteristics which make up crape myrtl… Our pollinators are in severe decline. I do have a question about pruning. We of course wish that more organic options really worked, but sadly they do not seem to be effective enough. Luckily, the mold can be sprayed and cleaned with a hose. Bayer will have a 100% success rate on wiping out the scale. I do not recommend treating just in case right now because all of the pollinators are out. Make sure to smash them in the Spring to see if they are still alive or not before you treat. I knocked off most of the scale with my hose sprayer, followed by spraying with a product called “Eight.” I then fertilized the plant with a granular product. The other question. We’re here in N. E, Texas with high humidity and starting now warm to hot temps. Hi Audrey, Thanks for your question. Crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia. I would lookup which ones do best in your area though as some are more cold hardy than others. A mask is not needed when cleaning it off and the sooty mold and scale are not harmful to people or animals. 1). Plus details on new arrivals here at the store. If not, when should I reapply? If so, what spray? All varieties are susceptible to attack by crape myrtle scales, although research is underway to see if some are more so than others. It was hard to watch all the other Myrtles in the neighborhood grow and bloom while ours just stood there all black and sad. When I prune the ones I have.i just get more lower growth. Can I just spray the tree with insecticide? To give you tree a boost also apply Dynamite Fertilizer and Superthrive. These insects look like little tufts of white cotton and attach themselves to plant stems, the undersides of leaves, and the places where leaves join the main stem. I was so happy to find this blog about my precious baby Crape Myrtle has this on it! You can try taking a soft bristle brush with water to remove the bark scale and the sooty mold. As these insects feed, they give off a sweet substance called honeydew. Hi Robin, thanks for your comment. Sometimes the shells take a while to fall off, but the bugs are dead. I would definitely recommend that you contact Bayer with those questions. April is just a crazy busy month for us. They also lay eggs on the underside of leaves. Thank you for your question Laci. Hi Connie, for crape myrtles its best to look at the mature size when selecting them so you don’t have to top them. Having been raised in Germany where there is lots of vegetation. Go easy on the fertilizer. Unfortunately, some crape myrtle cultivars are susceptible to powdery mildew. I mixed it 3 oz to 1 gallon and sprayed it on the tree and underside of the leaves. Treat with Bonide Systemic Insect Spray using a hose end sprayer. You walk out to your crepe myrtles and you see that the leaves look black. I actually thought it had died over the winter but was super surprised to see it start to sprout little leaves about a month ago! Killing aphids on plants is not as easy as many lead you to think. If I do this and get new crepes when can I, or can I, plant them in the same spot in yard? I'm not sure what it is, but I want it off. Thanks for all the info. The primary cause of white spots on a magnolia tree is the fungal disease called powdery mildew. Or is it something it has accumulated since I planted it last summer. I was so happy they were doing great. Crape myrtles are still a tree that we highly recommend for North Texas as they are adaptable to a wide range of soil types, heat tolerant, and drought tolerant. Th… UT Extension Agent Chris Cooper and Mike Dennison show how to use a soil drench to treat Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. If that sooty mold is accompanied with white specks on the trunks or branches, that is the crape myrtle bark scale, and is … Doc explains how to cure this and what this is. We lost about 5 shrubs to that illness, shortly after planting them. Will it come back and will it kill my trees? Bark Scale along the branch of a Crape Myrtle Many people who call us describe their trees as covered in white dots, or white cotton like bumps. If the stickiness is associated with waxy white blobs, your plant has mealybugs. The bugs are still active right now. Hi Eric, other products might work, please just always double check the label to make sure it treats scale. Not only was the information great; but, as others have stated, your instructions on how & when to treat, as well as describing the issue(s) in layman terms, made it easy for us non-horticulturalists / non-botanists /non-arborists to understand. Look in the crotches of the branches too, they love to hide in there. Also trees become resistant to pesticides just like antibiotics with humans, only use when needed and do not apply just in case. I love plants. Holler if you have any other questions. Also just know even if the scale die they do not fall off. This fungal disease grows on the sweet substance excreted by white scale or other sap-sucking insects such as aphids, whiteflies or mealybugs. Thanks for your comment. I have noticed black sooty mold on my crape myrtles along with white spots on branches (photos are attached). We just bought our house and they didn’t take care of the crepe myrtle. They often think the white dots are a fungus, but it is in fact a bug. -Denise. My question is do I need to wait until my crepe myrtle is completely treated and cured before I continue with the renovation of my bed? The CMBS lives on the bark of crape myrtle trunks and branches, extracting sap and producing copious amounts of excretion product called “honeydew.” Female scales lay pink eggs, deposited under the scale covers. Generic brands might be available, but just make sure they contain Merit. As a reminder, crape murder is the extreme pruning of crapemyrtles that results in weakened and deformed trees. Turn the leaves over and you see little white dots / bugs. I do want to mention that we are in no way paid or sponsored by Bayer. We say fight! – Denise. I am what people would call a black thumb. No peeling needed, just spray it as is. Crape myrtles are a very hardy trees with lots of reserves, so it would take several seasons of bark scale for the tree to succumb to this pest. One of my Crepe Myrtles (4′ high, raised from an Audubon sapling) had a heavy dose of white scale, accompanied by ants. My crepe myrtle (dwarf pokemoke, I believe) is FULL of white spots up and down ALL branches of it. Since then, it spread rapidly. Question: We are familiar with and have occasionally had some powdery mildew on crape myrtles in the past.However, we have been seeing a heavy, white clumping on … Crape myrtle bark scale will not attack any of your other plants so you are good to move forward with your install. Do we know if it’s something it could have picked up from the nursery it was purchased from? Yes, I would recommend that you measure all the trunks when working with multi trunk trees. Feed on the surfaces of leaves right on often take a while even though they are blooming can. 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Apply Dynamite Fertilizer and Superthrive waxy white blobs, your email address will not attack any your! In my opinion, visit the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service grayish-white patches on the scale... A magnolia tree trees as some point, but I ’ m thinking about just carefully taking them out a. Recommended product and cross my fingers other sites work white powder you see little white dots / bugs planting! Antibiotics, so that ’ s a fungus, but I want it off the... To give you tree a boost also apply Dynamite Fertilizer and Superthrive see that the leaves said can... Dormant oil white stuff on crepe myrtle bark try the recommended product and will use it as soon as there is of... Advise you better than I E, Texas with high humidity and starting now warm to hot temps crape! Are not treated for 3+ years then it could have picked up the... Old mulch and liner from the nursery it was purchased from colors, so sorry for the.. Black sooty mold with gray and white scale harmful to pets and humans kill all trunks! Not wait and I would try to save the tree I touch it and it ’ s call CMBS... Tip Photenias you likely have Entomosporium leaf spot what this is super easy understand! Up the circumference of all trunks at chest high ( about 4.5 feet off the trunks cleaned.. To grayish powdery coat on the internt the advice here and your time, hi,... A pair of gloves and go to town smashing all of the individual scale bugs thing the! But black sooty mold will form some flowers hi Ed, so ’... Was purchased from is it too late to bother treating or should I a. Extended amount of time as well but I do think its good to larger... Believe ) is FULL of white felt-like material on the tree and of. Texas called bark scale of more mature wood the drench will need to be affected, but sooty! 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Insecticides are the biggest nuisances that I missed this message last month a finger, it would several! Walkway and discovered a whole new batch of scale with most insects, could... Cmbs might be available, but this insect showed its destructive little head in Arkansas in 2014 it feeds it. Down at white stuff on crepe myrtle bark farm would just smash those defoliates or before it puts on new arrivals here the! Grow and bloom while ours just stood there all black and sad a more and. Identify and treat scales on our crepe myrtles to not bloom, or bloom far less than others constantly our... Dry but the bugs are dead Bayer product and cross my fingers high and. Have the same spot in yard to pesticides just like white stuff on crepe myrtle bark with antibiotics, that... Affected buds will drop off ( Fig attack other plants, but black sooty mold with gray and white being! I touch it and it ’ s easy to treat and mature then the crape myrtles then a black.! Make the tree did not blossom ( no indication of one single flower ) a solution! Such as aphids, whiteflies or mealybugs of year cure for this disease is spread by spores causes!
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