Magnolia Scale

Please Inspect Your Magnolias!
So much for the talk of extreme winter cold possibly killing off or reducing insect populations. We have seen an increase in Locust Plant Bugs, Spruce Mites, Leafminers and especially Magnolia Scale. Please look at the photo of the Magnolia closely.

Notice the leaves that appear black and sticky as shown in the yellow BOX! Notice the white and greyish pods on the undersides of the branches as shown inside the yellow CIRCLES! If you see this on your Magnolia, you have Magnolia Scale on your tree. The effects of this scale will continue to worsen as the Summer progresses.

It may be a bit difficult to notice at first but if you look closely at the leaves on the lower portions of the tree, or other plantings under the tree, and see leaves that look like those pictured, your Magnolia has this problem.  If you have an infected Magnolia that hangs over your deck, patio, or your car, you will really notice this sticky mess as the Summer progresses.

Magnolia Scale cannot be treated until late September and early October. Treating now, when the insects are protected within those previously mentioned white pods, will have no effect on them. We treat in the Fall, after the ‘crawlers’ hatch from the pods. Treating with the proper timing will greatly reduce or eliminate this problem for the following year.

If you suspect that you have Magnolia Scale, give us a call. We will check it out free of charge and detail a treatment plan for you.

Insect Problems for Western Suburbs’ Trees

You might think that the bitterly cold and harsh winter would affect the insect population in our area.  Yet, it appears the cold winter did not affect insect populations at all. We are actually seeing increases in insect activity.

What to look for? Many insect problems result in sap dripping from your trees.  If your car windshield, deck, patio furniture or kids toys are sticky, you have insect problems. If you see shiny spots of sap on leaves on the lower portions of a tree, or even if your grass feels sticky as you walk on it, you have an insect problem which can be quickly and easily rectified.  A few examples include:

Locust Plant Bugs. If you have a locust tree, and the younger leaves at the ends of the branches are curling and browning slightly, you have Locust Plant Bugs. When you sit on your deck or patio on breezy days and your head is itching, you might see tiny, bright green bugs on your arm.  Those are Locust Plant Bugs.

locust trees
The Locust on the left is under our care. The locust on the right is not.

Magnolia Scale Pods on Magnolia, Cottony Maple Scale Pods on Maples and Lecanium Scale Pods.  These different pods all contain insects that are protected within the pods. These insects have one thing in common; they suck the sap from the tree, weakening it, and their bodies excrete a sticky honeydew which drips from the pods, causing sap drippage.  Later, when the insects emerge from the pods, they excrete the same sticky honeydew from their bodies.
lecanium scale pods on crab tree
This photo shows Lecanium Scale pods on a Crab tree.  They appear to be tiny bumps on the branch that looks like lady bugs.

Examples of other Scale pods can be viewed here. These are just a few examples of what you might notice on your property this year and in years to come. Treating trees for these problems can be extremely effective, but only when using the most effective insecticides along with proper timing. Spraying too early, before the insects emerge from the pods, will have no effect on them.

Tree Green wants to work with you to assure the health of your trees.   Please call our office at 630.668.4350 or email us  if you notice an insect problem or other situation affecting the health of your trees.  A Tree Green Arborist will be out to explain what is going on.