You invest a lot in your landscape, so it can be incredibly frustrating to find that your prized shrubs and trees are suffering from an insect infestation! Scale are among the most common, and they sometimes go unnoticed until the tree or shrub starts to decline. Once there is significant damage, extreme measures need to be taken to combat these hungry little bugs. However, if caught in time, there are eco-friendly ways to treat scale! Read on to learn what the experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn have to say about eco-friendly, green scale treatments!
Scale attack many different kinds of trees and shrubs, including Azalea, Beech, Holly, Tulip Poplar, Magnolia, Yew, Euonymus, fruit trees and numerous conifers such as Hemlock. You may see black, sooty residue on leaves, white specks, cottony masses, and wart-like bumps on stems, twigs or branches. Conversely, you may not notice there’s an issue until the tree or shrub becomes discolored, starts to die back, or loses leaves or pine needles. If you see any of these signs of scale, schedule an inspection with a Giroud ISA Certified Arborist as soon as possible because catching it early is key!
There are many different types of scale, and knowing which one your tree or shrub is infested with is important for deciding which treatment is best. Unfortunately, it can be easy to misdiagnose scale. Your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist has the experience and training to know the difference between these insects, and can recommend the best treatment option for your tree or shrub.
How Scale Damage Trees and Shrubs
Scale suck the sap out of plants. They pierce the leaves with their mouthparts, and as they suck the sap, a sugary secretion called “honeydew” drips down. That secretion will turn into black, sooty mold over time. Plus, honeydew attracts bees, wasps and ants! Over time, the leaves will die off and cause your tree or shrub to drop leaves or pine needles.
An Eco-Friendly Treatment Option for Scale
If caught early enough, green approaches can be taken to treat scale. Giroud uses a horticultural oil to kill scale insects on contact. This is sprayed throughout the leaf canopy and on the undersides of the leaves. Rather than using chemicals, these eco-friendly oils smother the insects and suffocate them. Check out this video of how the process works: