The Q&A Archives: Leaf Problem Eucalyptus

Question: I have a problem developing on my tree's leaves. There are small white crusty spots on them. It seems to be effecting the health of my tree. What are they? What should I do to get rid of them?

Answer: The red gum lerp psyllid is one of many psyllid species that attack eucalyptus. They are recognized most readily by the white lerp, or house, that they secrete over themselves for protection. Lerp psyllid at high densities become a significant problem due to the honeydew they secrete. This sticky liquid falls from the leaves to the ground where it makes a sticky mess. Large numbers of psyllids can also stress a tree to the point that it sheds its leaves. While this damage does not generally kill the tree, stressed trees become more susceptible to other pests, specifically the eucalyptus longhorned borer. There is little that property-owners can do to control red gum lerp psyllid. Neither cultural controls like watering or fertilizing trees, nor insecticides have proven usefull against this pest. The only successes thus far have been through biological control efforts to import and release parasites from Australia that feed on this pest. Thus far, releases have been made throughout the state of California, so hopefully they are in your area, as well. Let's hope for the best

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