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Mon Jun 29, 2020, 07:38 AM

Has anyone had any success in eliminating magnolia scale

from their flowering magnolia trees/bushes? Mine are about 15-20 ft and those bugs are dripping that honeydew all over the lower leaves that attract bees and wasps at around my front door. Sooty black mold will then feast on it and kill the leaves as well since they won't be able to perform photosynthesis.

I don't want to kill pollinators or other plantings: yew, vinca ground cover, holly, sand cherries or red cane varigated-leaf dogwoods, but hate the thought of those pests sucking all the juice out of my magnolias all summer long thus weakening the whole tree during summer droughts and killing the young branches that flower next spring. Are any systemic pesticides very effective?

I've also heard one could use horticultural oils, possibly Neem oil sprays, to smother the critters if it's sprayed at a very specific time, when "crawlers" emerge, mate, and lay eggs, or dormant oils later, late fall, but these magnolias are very tall.

I can't afford the services of an arborist - HELP!

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Reply Has anyone had any success in eliminating magnolia scale (Original post)
Backseat Driver Jun 2020 OP
voteearlyvoteoften Jun 2020 #1
SharonClark Jun 2020 #2
femmocrat Jun 2020 #3

Response to Backseat Driver (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 08:56 AM

1. The horticultural oils work well on my camellias.

Best time to use is spring. I do it twice about a month apart and it has pretty much eliminated scale.

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Response to Backseat Driver (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 09:13 AM

2. I had a 5-trunk magnolia that was smothered by soft body scale.

The city arborist told me, and others, that it wouldn't harm the tree but the scale was so bad that every magnolia of the big saucer type within a few blocks of my house was dead the next year. It was 20 years ago and the tree was at least 25 years old and was huge. I hated the magnolia because I had to rake and dispose of those spongy petals in the spring and the heavy leaves in the fall or they would literally rot on the ground.

I had the tree cut down and replaced it with a red maple.

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Response to Backseat Driver (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 10:25 AM

3. It might be too late now.

We spray ours with dormant oil in March. We havenít had any scale or wasps for several years. Our tree was gorgeous this year.

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