Scale vs. Crepe Myrtle; a fight till death

Crepe Myrtles are a popular landscape choice throughout Tyler and East Texas, but I am sure you knew that. However, did you know one of the biggest problems in our region are multiple reproductive phases of insects? Scale insects being one, giving constant pressure on plants and trees.

What are scale?

Scale are a parasite that survive off of trees and plants. They're fall into two different classifications; armored and soft shell. These insects are inconspicuous and likely will not stick out, unless you are looking for them. Once they are born they will roam until they reach adulthood, then remain in the same spot for the remainder of their life, sucking the sap out of your tree. Scale can damage and kill certain species of trees. Luckily, we have a few ways to control them, give us a call.

How do I know if my tree has scale?

There are numerous ways to tell if your tree is inhabited by this parasite, the more that are present, typically the easier it is to tell. If the colonization level is high, it is likely there is black mold on your branches, twigs, trunk, etc. Another way to tell is if there are white/tan eggs, grab a leaf and press down, if blood emerges, the larva has not left yet. If no blood secretes, but there is a small hole, the larva has left the egg and it is likely it is near sucking the sap of your tree.

What can I do?

Hire an ISA Certified Arborist to ensure the insects that you are wanting to treat are scale and set up a treatment plan. At Artmires, we have a few different options when your trees/shrubs have scale; there is a more environment friendly mixture, a dormant oil (to be applied in the months of winter), and we have a chemical approach to remove these pesky parasites.

Please contact us to help save your trees from scale!

Also, please note the pictures below have different levels of scale colonization. The heavy colonizations have this parasite piled on top of each other, in the process, of killing the young southern magnolia. Not all scale colonization is this severe, but can become if not treated.