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Scale Treatments

While many trees develop an issue with scales, it can be a problem in that it’s difficult to see, and therefore goes unnoticed until the case is severe enough to be covering the limbs.

Scale insects can cause significant damage to a tree by sucking out sap, which in turn robs the tree of vital nutrients– if allowed to continue, this will result in the death of the plant or tree.

Scale insects do well in warm, moist conditions, and can normally be found on the underside of leaves and at leaf joints. Once the insects begin feeding on a plant’s sap, the plant’s ability to produce sooty mold, a mold needed for the health of the plant, and the plant is then overcome with a thick, black mold.

This black mold has a significant impact on the viability of photosynthesis in the plant.

How to Treat Scales

While there is no easy way to treat Scales, there are a wide variety of chemical-based treatments on the market, such as insecticides. These products can be purchased at most garden centers and should be applied every week for a period of at least a month to ensure the infestation is cured.

For best results in treating Scales, horticultural oil should be applied repeatedly throughout the dormant season. Soil injections are also recommended to manage scale during the crawler stage.

Signs and Symptoms of Scales

Scales can affect different areas of the tree, from branches and shoots to leaves and fruit.

Scales appears as a sooty black mold and can be seen on the branches and main scaffold limbs, which can cause irreversible damage to mature trees.

Limbs can also be covered in hard or soft shell scales, which causes the leaves to wither and die.