Various trees are susceptible to sucking insects like Woolly Aphids and Scales. These insects are relatives of the infamous Aphid and, just like them, they attach themselves to stems and leaves by using their piercing mouths to penetrate the bark and feed on the tree’s sap. This ‘bleeding’ debilitates the tree which, in turn, predisposes them to attack by pathogens such as fungi and bacteria. Serious infestations can eventually kill the tree. A common fungus found on trees infested with scales is sooty mold which is black in appearance, covering the upper side of the leaves and can reduce the aesthetics of the landscape.
Woolly Aphids and Scales are most common during dry and hot summers. To control them, we recommend several treatments of Mineral Oil and Safer’s Soap during the growing season. These products are safe to the environment and do not harm pets or people. We recommend a minimum of three applications starting in late spring, however, more may be needed if the summer is hot and dry.