The Q&A Archives: problem with Japanese coral maple

Question: This is my tree's third season and it has done well. It has three main branches off the trunk. After leafing, the leaves on one branch shriveled and died. I removed the dead leaves and I don't think the damage is spreading, but there is small white clumpy scales on the base of the trunk. Any ideas? Thanks for your help.
Susan D

Answer: Clumpy scales could be insects or it might be a fungal disease. I can't really tell without looking at it. Try peeling off some of the material and looking at it with a magnifying glass. If it's a population of insects you should be able to see legs. If it is a fungus it will be cottony throughout with no particular body form. Insecticidal soap will kill the insects; a fungicide will take care of any fungus. Hope this information helps you determine just what the problem might be.

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