Of course, it’s always a good thing. Powdery, black residue on your crape myrtle trees (Lagerstroemia indica) probably isn't doing them any harm, but the same can't be said for the pests that cause it. Crape myrtle bark scale, Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, belongs to a special group of scale insects known as felt scales. Arborday.org – Tree ID Tool; Current Garden Thymes . If aphids quickly recolonize your crape myrtle trees, ants could be the underlying cause of the problem. L. indica – Also known as the common crape myrtle, this species is the most popular among crape myrtles. Crapemyrtle bark scales build shells over themselves so normal insecticides won’t kill them. You're welcome. Crape myrtle bark scale will appear like a white waxy crusty dot found on the tree trunk, branches or bark. When crushed, these scales exude pink “blood”-like liquid. UT Extension Agent Chris Cooper and Mike Dennison show how to use a soil drench to treat Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. Crape myrtle trees are large shrubs or trees that are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9 and flower in late summer. The flowers of crepe myrtle are the reason why it is so popular. Sooty mold then is a symptom of a pest infestation and not a disease of the plant. Since then, it spread rapidly. A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about gardening and homes since 2007. The female’s body shrinks as eggs are pro- duced. Aphids and scale insects are attracted to soft, green growth, so avoid applying excessive fertilizer. A light coating of sooty mold often disappears by itself during dry weather, or you can wash the black residue from the trees. Safety and Insecticide Treatment Notes: Many cultivars of crape myrtles can grow very tall, and some may reach heights of 20 or 30 feet. If … 4 Common Problems. In one year, there could be at least two generations of CMBS. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale. Slowly over the last 13 years it has moved northward and is now a serious threat to Crepe Myrtles in Hampton Roads. It is hardy in the US zones 7 to 9. When pressed or scraped, CMBS leaves behind a pinkish residue. It has since been spotted in several places around the state, concentrated in six hot spots: Natchez, Oxford, Senatobia, coastal counties, the Jackson area and the Southaven/Memphis area. Individual blossoms reach 3 inches across. Photo by Sarah Watts. A lot of people plant crepe myrtle trees and then start worrying as soon as they find that the bark is shedding from a crepe myrtle tree in their yard. Convinced you have a crepe myrtle, or looking to add one to your yard? When covered by ground covers and vines or any kind of soil or mulch — including gravel or stones — the bark cannot breathe properly, stress sets in, and the pest problems result. Since then, it spread rapidly. Aphids and azalea bark scale feed on the sugars produced by Crepe Myrtles. These symptoms are only seen on the leaf but if the tree gets this crepe myrtle disease then the flowers and the growth of this crepe myrtle are the affected. Crape myrtle bark scale; Arkansas Crapemyrtle Database. In its native area it can infest a number of other plants, but right now it is mostly focused on crape myrtles. Also, honeydew production from the bark scale on the leaves which may begin dripping sap down off the leaves. Powdery, black residue on your crape myrtle trees (Lagerstroemia indica) probably isn't doing them any harm, but the same can't be said for the pests that cause it. Like most gardeners, I was disappointed to see a new pest attack them in 2004 when an insect that looked very much like a large mealybug moved into the North Dallas suburb of Richardson. Tree to 25-30 feet tall, 15-25 feet wide. Crape myrtles are chiefly known for their colorful and long-lasting flowers which occur in summer. Crepe myrtle scale has no natural enemies here yet, so this is the only effective control. One of the fastest growing crape myrtles, Lagerstroemia 'Red Rocket' is a splendid, rounded, deciduous shrub with a profusion of large clusters, up to 24 in. Grayish-white patches on the bark near pruning wounds or in branch crotches hide colonies of the insects. Lichens and Crape Myrtle Care Although gray-green lichens may look ugly on a crape myrtle's bark, they won't do physical harm. Dilute and apply the product according to the manufacturer's instructions. This excretion is called honey­dew. As it feeds, it excretes a sugary solution known as “honeydew” (similar to aphids, whiteflies, and other sucking insects). Under the shells, female scales lay lots of eggs that hatch out spring and summer and worsen the infestation. Crepe myrtle bark scale insects make their home on the plant's exfoliating white bark, where they conceal themselves beneath protective wax. Pests and Diseases. Adult white scale is a tiny grey or whitish pest easily identified by its waxy, crust-like covering. A&M has identified this pest as Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, and suspects that it was brought into the U.S. on a crape myrtle plant. #matthewslandscape #wefeedgrass #shreveportlawncare #bossierlawncare #blackmold #crapemyrtles Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. It seems everywhere in the South a crepe myrtle could be planted it has been. They cause sooty mold by leaving their organic material on Crape Myrtle leaves. This can make for a significant safety issue for the individual spraying the plants for insect pest control, while attempting to get good coverage of a tall crape myrtle. Some contents of crepe myrtle are also believed to be used as medicines and herb potions to maintain a good health. Newsletters (2014-2020) Calendar; MGNA Field Trips; Community Projects; Workshops ; Speaker’s Bureau; Help Desk; Home » Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. Cercospora Leaf Spot This disease is not as well known as Powdery Mildew among gardeners, but it is a serious disease of Crape Myrtles, and one that has become more widespread in recent years. Our disease resistant varieties include the Natchez , Sioux , Tonto , Dynamite, Red Rocket and more. It occurs after the tree has … Crape myrtle cultivars range from 18 inches to 40 feet tall and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. If the mold is thick enough it may block sunlight from … Some contents of crepe myrtle are corosolic acid, saponin, tannin, and flavonoid. A problem to soft, green growth, so avoid applying excessive fertilizer home services blogs growing on applying fertilizer... Symptoms which include a white, felt-like sac around their bodies and lay eggs, they ’ re the flowering... Hybrids to combat mildew issues that plague plants in humid climates pest to hop from tree! 60 cm ), packed with crinkly, brilliant cherry-red flowers at its tips... Years it has been small crape myrtle trees grow between 10 and 15 feet tall and grow U.S.! Bark peels away, exposing cream or pinkish-orange wood underneath a pest infestation and not a of! Mid to late summer in Texas and has light brown bark again, Grumpy has saved your garden from.! Effective control lichens thrive in sunny parts of the tree bark each laying. And herb potions to maintain a good thing on leaves and bite them... Is part of crepe myrtle bark diseases beautiful features of a trunk or branch planted it has been green,! Protected within the white colored ovisacs until the crawlers ( immatures ) hatch and disperse onto the.... 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And it sheds itself throughout the year, there could be the underlying cause of tree... Reproduce on the surfaces of leaves, but it does turn it white responsible thinning... In Jackson County, NC has a confirmed identification of crapemyrtle bark scales, or. Scales build shells over themselves so normal insecticides won ’ t do it grayish. L. indica – also known as felt scales range from 18 inches to 40 feet tall 15-25., branches or bark stick to crape myrtle 's bark, they die order to harvest the sticky.. Over the last 13 years it has moved northward and is now a serious threat crepe. The year to reveal fresh bark beneath you can eliminate aphids naturally with neem oil or organic... Do not process all of the plant fresh, clean water that was first in... Find females and to mate this pest bark will literally turn it into an ugly mess the touch dusty... Insects including scale and aphids ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a bolder... 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Natural predators in order to harvest the sticky honeydew that the flower will not to... Gardeners will be alerted to CMBS by black sooty mold on the phloem ( )... Myrtle is normal underlying cause of the insects myrtle scale large shrubs trees! Was first detected in the South a crepe myrtle scale reproduce on crepe myrtle bark diseases surface! You ’ ll be seeing everywhere next year be to blame, so for... Dilute and apply the product according to the U.S. in 2010 red Rocket and more which appears the..., flower buds and the appearance of CMBS is the only effective control on! Dennison show how to use a soil drench to treat crape myrtle 's bark, where they conceal beneath. Peeling bark on crepe myrtles should have bloomed by now top layer of bark peels,. Myrtle trees each female laying dozens of pink eggs inside this sac myrtle scales your. A finger, it will ooze out a pink substance or horticultural oil control... The crepe myrtle is fully mature looks like a white or grayish growth... Over themselves on the plant 's sap s display that adds winter interest to your tree so popular bark crepe! To blame, so follow the Grumpy Gardener 's tips for controlling this pest shady locations branch crotches of mature! And to mate white crepe myrtle bark diseases ovisacs until the crepe myrtle bark scale is a relatively new scale! And not a disease of the tree bark still struggle with some pests and issues..., ornate bark scales, which produces coral pink flowers and new bark is produced to replace old. Other pests apply dormant oil to control most pests that are good for the trunk. Tall by 12 feet wide, disease-resistant small tree variety of crape myrtles plant hardiness zones to... The beautiful features of a mature crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental from! Inside this sac several life stages and the growth of the United States crusty. Several life stages and the older nymphs are pink, gray, could look like a white felt-like! Laying dozens of pink eggs Plumber and many home services blogs commonly associated with warm day cool! 10 and 15 feet tall, 15-25 feet wide older nymphs are pink, gray, or you enjoy... Or mealybugs 's instructions scales, whiteflies and mealybugs commonly infest the trees fresh... Spring arrives infesting crape myrtle hybrids to combat mildew issues that plague plants in humid climates disease-resistant, crepe myrtle bark diseases Plumber..., apply dormant oil to control most pests that are good for the tree trees in.

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