What is it? - Knowledgebase Question

Magnolia, Mi
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Question by pabwjb
July 3, 2010
I live in the 39652 zip code area. I have two satsuma trees and the leaves have a black coating on them, it looks lie mold but it is dry to the touch. Any ideas? Thanks, Jim

Answer from NGA
July 3, 2010
Sounds to me like sooty mold which is the result of insect feeding - probably aphids. These pests suck out the plant juices and excrete a liquid called honeydew. The sugar content of this excrement is just high enough to encourage fungal growth. That's what you're seeing on the leaves of your trees. Once you control the insect pests the sooty mold will weather away. Insecticidal soap sprays or a systemic insecticide will take care of aphids.

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