Japanese Maple Disease - Knowledgebase Question

Ansonia, Co
Avatar for hilde_braun
Question by hilde_braun
June 30, 2010
We have a Japanese maple tree/bush which is about 14 yrs. old. About one week ago I noticed small white cotton-like spots on the branches. A hedge rose bush about 3 feet away from it, has the same problem. Have never seen anything like this before. The spots are very small, feel a bit like a cotton ball does. They are easy to remove, except there are lots of them.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
It sounds like your maple may be infested with either cottony scales or mealy bugs. Branches and leaf undersides are covered with white, cottony-looking masses. Sometimes you'll see a black sooty mold as well, which is growing in the sugary honeydew excreted by the insects. The time to treat these pests in now, when the immature stage is active on the tree.Spary in mid-July and again in mid-August with insecticidal soap. There are other pesticides that are also effective. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service to see what is registered for use in your state.

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