Check out our recent post that covers topping crape myrtles and why you shouldn’t do it. Slowly over the last 13 years it has moved northward and is now a serious threat to Crepe Myrtles in Hampton Roads. To remove sooty mold from your trees, dilute 4 ounces of liquid dish soap per gallon of water and drench the trees in the solution. Helpful … In winter, the top layer of bark peels away, exposing cream or pinkish-orange wood underneath. 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 will appear like a white waxy crusty dot found on the tree trunk, branches or bark. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (let’s call it CMBS) is a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation. Convinced you have a crepe myrtle, or looking to add one to your yard? If you notice a white powdery coating, this could be a problem. Wait three to four minutes; then thoroughly rinse the trees with fresh, clean water. More information about identification can … Crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia. This can be a difficult pest to control and it may take m… A light coating of sooty mold often disappears by itself during dry weather, or you can wash the black residue from the trees. Crape myrtle bark scale (“CMBS,” Eriococcus lagerstroemia) was first identified in Texas in 2004, and is now a common pest. Crepe myrtle tree identification by bark. I’ve been heavily involved with crape myrtles for 40 years. Although it looks unsightly, sooty mold isn't harmful to human health. Crepe myrtles create interest all year and are adaptable to many sized gardens. Thousands of scales encrusting the bark will literally turn it white. Crape myrtles are usually free of pests and diseases, but have issues with Japanese beetle which feeds on the leaves and flowers, sooty mold, cercospora leaf spot, and powdery mildew. Not only as medicine, can crepe myrtle also be used as herbs that are good for the health. 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. Aphids, scale insects, whiteflies and mealybugs commonly infest the trees and excrete the honeydew that feeds sooty mold fungi. These insects survive by building protective shells over themselves on the bark and sucking the plant's sap. You will notice that the flower will not open to its beauty and the growth of the tree is stunned. Since then, it spread rapidly. After all, they’re the finest flowering shrubs in the South (personal opinion!). Lichens thrive in sunny parts of a plant with few leaves, but are not responsible for thinning leaves. Some common issues are: Crape Myrtle Topping “Topping,” or removing all growth above a certain height is a common practice and a terrible one. Some contents of crepe myrtle are corosolic acid, saponin, tannin, and flavonoid. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale is a relatively new nonnative scale that was first detected in the U.S. in 2004. Both are resistant to powdery mildew, a common leaf disease of crape myrtles. Powdery mildew typically develops in late spring and fall and is associated with warm day and cool night temperatures and high humidity. The insects’ digestive systems do not process all of the mat­er­ial they eat. Crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, was first detected in the state in early 2015. How to care for crepe myrtle. Infestation rarely kills the target tree, but it does turn it into an ugly mess. Up close, CMBS is whit… Once again, Grumpy has saved your garden from oblivion. Since 2013, in the city of Germantown, there has been a suspicious decrease in the health and appearance of one of the South’s ubiquitous flowering tree species, the crepe myrtle. The White Crape Myrtle is a very hardy tree, but it can still struggle with some pests and diseases. These simple and spectacular Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones. Crape myrtle bark scales are invasive pests that can infest shrubs and trees growing in certain areas of the United States. Most species of Lagerstroemia have sinewy, fluted stems and branches with a mottled appearance that arises from having bark that sheds throughout the year. Crapemyrtle bark scales build shells over themselves so normal insecticides won’t kill them. If you mash or prick one of these spots it will bleed pink or red . Grayish-white patches on the bark near pruning wounds or in branch crotches hide colonies of the insects. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (let’s call it CMBS) is a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation. However, the Crape Myrtle does boast a higher resistance to pests and diseases than other flowering tree varieties, and when they are affected, the issues are easy to mediate quickly. The undigested sugars pass through the insects and are deposited on the leaf or stem where the insects are feeding. As it feeds, it excretes a sugary solution known as “honeydew” (similar to aphids, whiteflies, and other sucking insects). 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. With literally hundreds of sizes and colors available, crape (or crepe) myrtles are a terrific, low-maintenance choice for prolific blooms during hot, humid summers. Then they secrete a sticky honeydew that black mold grows on. 4 Common Problems. When pruned correctly, you can enjoy the interesting patterns the bark provides throughout this process. It is hardy in the US zones 7 to 9. Heavy infestations of crapemyrtle bark scale produce sufficient honeydew to coat leaves, stems and bark of the tree. For much of the year, crepemyrtle tree bark is smooth to the touch and dusty gray or light brown colored. Ants protect aphids from their natural predators in order to harvest the sticky honeydew. Blooming in mid to late summer, they create a brilliant display in the landscape. Learn how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps. Laurey W. Glenn. Heavy infestations of crape myrtle aphids can also cause trees to be covered with black sooty mold, but any crape myrtle that is covered with sooty mold should be carefully ex… Tree to 25-30 feet tall, 15-25 feet wide. CMBS is a miniscule insect that appears as a felt-like gray or white crust on crape myrtle branches, often on the underside away from the sun. It blooms in abundance in summer and fall, with huge panicles of densely packed, crinkled flowers. If the leaves still retain some green coloring and the black portions are mainly along the edges, the crepe myrtle may be suffering from leaf scorch which is not a true disease but is caused by improper watering. The flowers of crepe myrtle are the reason why it is so popular. 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. Often times, the first sign of CMBS is the black sooty mold on the tree bark. Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a recent (2004) invasive insect from Asia. This honeydew, in t… If you touch or rub leaves, stems or bark that has that characteristic black coating, you're left with dark smudges on your fingers. One of the beautiful features of a mature crepe myrtle is peeling bark that reveals the coloration in the wood. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (or CMBS) is relatively easy to identify in heavy infestations, but can be difficult to notice in its early stages on Crepe Myrtles. Our disease resistant varieties include the Natchez , Sioux , Tonto , Dynamite, Red Rocket and more. Most gardeners will be alerted to CMBS by black sooty mold which appears on the bark . Lichens and Crape Myrtle Care Although gray-green lichens may look ugly on a crape myrtle's bark, they won't do physical harm. You're welcome. The problem usually goes unnoticed until plants begin turning black with a fungus called sooty mold when it begins to grow on insect droppings. 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. Pests and Diseases. It seems everywhere in the South a crepe myrtle could be planted it has been. It’s easy to spot. Dilute and apply the product according to the manufacturer's instructions. 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. WATCH: What's Wrong With My Crepe Myrtle? L. indica – Also known as the common crape myrtle, this species is the most popular among crape myrtles. Zuni crape myrtles have tan and white bark as well as brilliant red-orange fall color. Spray with a neem oil product, insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to control most pests that are infesting crape myrtle trees. In some instance, insects may be to blame, so check for aphids or other pests. Alternatively, if the infestation is light, dip the blades of your pruning shears in rubbing alcohol and prune off the infested stems and shoots. If the black residue is coating only one area of your tree, check for a cut or gash. 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. As with most insects, there are several life stages and the appearance of CMBS changes with the stages. Spring Master Gardener Class; Qtr 4, 2020; MGNA Plant Sale; Week of July 27; Week of July 13; MG INTERNS! If you live in the Mid-South, you most likely have a crepe myrtle in … This excretion is called honey­dew. Since then, it spread rapidly. It is one of the only scales known to infest crape myrtles. Bark scale originates from China and was brought to the U.S. in 2010. You can eliminate aphids naturally with neem oil or an organic pesticide. Several types of insects feed on tree sap, secreting a sweet, sticky honeydew that sooty mold fungi thrive on. The common garden pests that infect crepe myrtle are aphids. Wrap sticky ant protection strips around the tree trunks and prune any tree parts that touch another tree or structure to prevent ants from reaching your trees. Crepe myrtle scale has no natural enemies here yet, so this is the only effective control. While disease-resistant, the crape myrtle is not free from pests and health issues. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. If … 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. CMBS might be able to overwinter in the adult female and egg life stages, and crawlers and later stage nymphs have been observed overwintering under the loose bark and in cracks and crevices of crapemyrtles in our area. If aphids quickly recolonize your crape myrtle trees, ants could be the underlying cause of the problem. Crepe myrtle have some contents that can be used as a medicine to cure some kind of diseases. Slowly over the last 13 years it has moved northward and is now a serious threat to Crepe Myrtles in Hampton Roads. When pressed or scraped, CMBS leaves behind a pinkish residue. ‘Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter. Aphids and azalea bark scale feed on the sugars produced by Crepe Myrtles. First, after its leaves drop, apply dormant oil to the trunks and branches. In one year, there could be at least two generations of CMBS. When crushed, these scales exude pink “blood”-like liquid. What Are Those White Specks on My Crepe Myrtle? The crapemyrtle bark scale, Acanthococcus (=Eriococcus) lagerstromiae(Kuwana), was first confirmed in the USA in 2004 in the landscape near Dallas (TX), although it was likely introduced earlier. They affect … Small Trees In general, small crape myrtle trees grow between 10 and 15 feet tall. 4 through 6). No Blooms. Large leaves (8-12 inches long, 4 inches wide) turn red in fall. It occurs after the tree has … The scales also reproduce on the shrubs, with each female laying dozens of pink eggs. Crepe myrtle scale has no natural enemies here yet, so follow the Grumpy Gardener's tips for controlling this pest. Plant breeders have developed crape myrtle hybrids to combat mildew issues that plague plants in humid climates. Southern Living is a registered trademark of, These Haircuts Are Going To Be Huge in 2021, 7 Paint Colors We’re Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2020, 50 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime. Crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia. The black coating is called sooty mold, and it's a sign your trees are under attack. Powdery mildew is the most widespread and serious disease in Georgia. A&M has identified this pest as Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, and suspects that it was brought into the U.S. on a crape myrtle plant. Patches of white to grayish powdery growth occur on the surfaces of leaves, flowers and new shoots. USDA Pests & Diseases; Tree Resources. Heavily infected flowers may fail to open. The female’s body shrinks as eggs are pro- duced. The scales also reproduce on the shrubs, with each female laying dozens of pink eggs. It also sometimes strikes these plants which are in shady locations. Newsletters (2014-2020) Calendar; MGNA Field Trips; Community Projects; Workshops ; Speaker’s Bureau; Help Desk; Home » Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. On new growth and in heavy infestations, the scales may be distributed more uniformly on the branch (Figs. Some of the problems CMBS brings about are the limiting of blooms; you’ll see a little bit of reduction in the blooms. Arborday.org – Tree ID Tool; Current Garden Thymes . CMBS might be found anywhere on crepe myrtles bark, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood. The bark of the tree has a mottled effect, and it sheds itself throughout the year to reveal fresh bark beneath. 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. Sterilize the blades of the shears when you've finished by dipping them in rubbing alcohol again. Crape myrtles benefit from pruning to promote new growth. Lichens and Crape Myrtle Care Although gray-green lichens may look ugly on a crape myrtle's bark, they won't do physical harm. Since then, it spread rapidly. Crape myrtle bark scale; Arkansas Crapemyrtle Database. Sooty mold that has appeared due to a wound should stop growing when the wound heals. Aphids. #matthewslandscape #wefeedgrass #shreveportlawncare #bossierlawncare #blackmold #crapemyrtles This fungal disease is a serious problem on crape myrtles from Maryland to Florida and out to Texas and in the North on trees planted near the seashore or other cool, foggy areas. Preventing sooty mold involves controlling the pests that are the root cause. The presence of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may not be a severe issue compared to other plant diseases, but it can be detrimental to the productivity of the tree. Just wash your hands with warm water and soap to remove the black marks. It looks like a white speck stuck to the bark of a trunk or branch. Crepe myrtle bark scale insects make their home on the plant's exfoliating white bark, where they conceal themselves beneath protective wax. Perhaps because it occurs later in the year, it is … The presence of sooty mold may confuse the diagnosis since that is also commonly associated with a significant aphid problem. Infected parts of the plant are usually distorted and stunted. (60 cm), packed with crinkly, brilliant cherry-red flowers at its branch tips. The fact that crapemyrtles have the potential for a long flowering period (up to 120 days) in the summer has given rise to the popularity of this plant in our state. This will smother both adult and immature scales. It has very noticeable symptoms which include a white or grayish powdery coating on the leaf surface. Crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia. What should you do if you discover crepe myrtle scales on your tree now? SIGNUP GENIUS RECENT POSTS. Crape myrtles are chiefly known for their colorful and long-lasting flowers which occur in summer. Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is one of the most common problems of crape myrtle, and it is caused by the fungus Erysiphe lagerstroemia. A new pest threatens the South’s favorite flowering tree There is a new insect pest coming after the South’s favorite flowering tree: Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale. 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. The trendy haircuts you’ll be seeing everywhere next year. This fungal disease is a serious problem on crape myrtles from Maryland to Florida and out to Texas and in the North on trees planted near the seashore or other cool, foggy areas. That's just what's happening now with a new insect pest called the crepe myrtle scale. Crape myrtle bark scale, Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, belongs to a special group of scale insects known as felt scales. “The white dots are likely insects called crapemyrtle bark scales. It’s easy to spot. Crepe myrtle bark scale insects make their home on the plant's exfoliating white bark, where they conceal themselves beneath protective wax. Check for the pests on stems, stem tips, flower buds and the undersides of leaves. A hardy, disease-resistant small tree variety of crape myrtle is the Commanche, which produces coral pink flowers and has light brown bark. It is one of the only scales known to infest crape myrtles. How to Care for a Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree, How to Treat Pecan Trees That Have Worms in the Nuts, Missouri Botanical Garden: Lagerstroemia Indica, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Sooty Mold, University of Minnesota Extension: Sooty Mold, Clemson Cooperative Extension: Crape Myrtle Diseases & Insect Pests, How to Care for the Pink Powder Puff Tree, How to Get Rid of Scales on Japanese Maples. In its native area it can infest a number of other plants, but right now it is mostly focused on crape myrtles.

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