|The leaves and trunk of my crepe myrtles are black. The leaves are falling. It looks like they have some kind of bugs. Any suggestions? I live in South Carolina.
|The black substance is probably sooty mold which is the residue left from aphids or other insects which feed on the fluids within the tissues of the leaves and stems. Getting control of the insects will stop the sooty mold from developing and that which is already on the leaves will weather away. It can be difficult to effectively spray a large tree well enough to control insect pests. You can try using insecticidal soap sprays on the insects you see or you might opt to use a systemic such as Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Insect Control. A systemic works its way into all the parts of the tree and will poison insects feeding on it. If you use a systemic, be sure to apply according to label directions. Good luck with your crape myrtle.