This article covers the topic of controlling Crepe Myrtle (also spelled Crepemyrtle, Crapemyrtle or Crape Myrtle) bark scale. The black sooty mold is a by-product of the the scale. Application of dormant oil can safely be repeated while the tree is still dormant. The crepe myrtles are among the most satisfactory of plants for the South: showy summer flowers, attractive bark, and (in many cases) brilliant fall color make them year-round garden performers. Long, cool autumns yield the best leaf display; sudden frosts following warm, humid fall weather often freeze leaves while they're still green, ruining the show. Planting groundcover other than turf grass around crape myrtles as well as proper mulching can provide a … Kingwood Garden Center customer, Ronny R, stopped by to find a solution for the unsightly residue on his crepe myrtle trees, which he believed to a fungus. On Crepe Myrtles and most other plants the culprit here is either sap sucking Aphids or Bark sucking Scale. Sign up for our newsletter. On the other hand, if the trees are old or carry large wounds from heavy pruning or other types of injuries, the white fungus could be due to dying, decaying wood. On new growth and in heavy infestations, the scales may be distributed more uniformly on the branch (Figs. Eliminate pests. Crape myrtle bark scale will appear like a white waxy crusty dot found on the tree trunk, branches or bark. The black sooty mold is a by-product of the the scale. To prevent the infestation from building up again, use an insecticide like imidacloprid, which is applied as a soil drench. Spray the tree with a dormant oil – Apply dormant oil generously, using enough oil to reach cracks and crevices in the bark. Infested trees completely covered with sooty mold As with most insects, there are several life stages and the appearance of CMBS changes with the stages. Under favorable conditions, infection may occur as few as 3 to 5 days after the spore lands on the crape myrtle. All varieties are susceptible to attack by crape myrtle scales, although research is underway to see if some are more so than others. It can appear anywhere, but is often seen on branch crotches or near pruning wounds. According to Texas AgriLife Extension, this harmful pest is newly introduced from the Far East. This can be a difficult pest to control and it may take m… You're most likely to find the scales congregating on old pruning wounds and the undersides of branches. Crape myrtle cultivars range from 18 inches to 40 feet tall and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. Green's work appears in SFGate, Mom.me, The Pink Plumber and many home services blogs . Yellow Insects & White Foam on Outdoor Plants, How to Diagnose Cedar Tree Pests & Diseases, Causes of Falling Limbs on a Sweet Gum Tree, Missouri Botanical Garden: Lagerstroemia Indica, AgriLife Extension: Powdery Mildew on Crape Myrtle, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Powdery Mildew on Ornamentals, East Texas Gardening: Crapemyrtle Bark Scale – A New Pest on Crapemyrtles, Fairfax County Master Gardeners: Crape Myrtle Bark Scale on Crape Myrtle Tree, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Wood Decay Fungi in Landscape Trees. Black Diamond Crape Myrtle Problems . Crape myrtle bark scale is relatively easy to identify. Controlling the scale will result in the disappearance of the sooty mold. Like all trees, Crape Myrtles can develop fungus or mildew on their leaves. - Dolores L. This is not a fungus. Adult female, what you may see on the tree, are round and gray-white in color Mildew thrives in warm, moist conditions. The eggs remain protected within the white colored ovisacs until the crawlers (immatures) hatch and disperse onto the branches. What organic spray can I use to rid the plant of this fungus. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. The sugars in honeydew may support the growth of a fungus called “sooty mold.” This overgrowth produces large black patches on the bark of the crapemyrtle. Once the mated females produce their ovisacs (egg-containing capsules) and lay eggs, they die. Mildew thrives in warm, moist conditions. Crape myrtles have thin bark that peels off during the year. Sunday, April 14, 2019 8:13 AM. The algae, in return, can create food from the energy of the sun, which feeds the fungus. Crape myrtles are prized where they can be grown for their beautiful flowers, long blooming season, and attractive, interesting bark. The insects have been spotted in a number of states, including Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Tennessee. The disease is a white, spongy wood rot, and it invades wounds in crape myrtles. It’s even more serious than the unsightly and oft mentioned crape murder. Prepare and apply the product according to the manufacturer's instructions. Crape myrtle bark scale is a messy insect pest that leaves behind a sticky honeydew residue in which black sooty mold will develop. This will reduce moisture that could lead to fungus… Since then, it spread rapidly. If a powdery mildew infestation takes hold, it can stunt leaves and flower stems, destroy flower buds and cause the shrubs to drop their leaves. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale is a relatively new nonnative scale that was first detected in the U.S. in 2004. By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. CMBS might be found anywhere on crepe myrtles bark, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood. This disease – caused by a fungus called Erysiphe – is also seen on other garden shrubs, including lilacs and roses, but each plant has a specific form that only attack it, so powdery mildew on Crape Myrtle cannot spread to lilacs, or vice-versa, although they may appear simultaneously during suitable weather conditions. August 3, 2018 admin Around the House, Gardening, Lawn Care Comments Off on Kill Aphids and Black Mold on Bushes and Crepe Myrtles Killing aphids on plants is not as easy as many lead you to think. It's easy to spot. The insect was first noted in McKinney, Texas (self-designated as America’s “crapemyrtle city”), in 2005 and had spread throughout most of … Apply a soil drench – Drench the soil between the tree’s drip line and the trunk, using a systemic insecticide such as Bayer Advanced Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control, Bonide Annual Tree and Shrub Insect Control, or Greenlight Tree and Shrub Insect Control. What kind of soil would you use to put in ground for the crepes? A&M has identified this pest as Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, and suspects that it was brought into the U.S. on a crape myrtle plant. Similarly, you may want to use a pressure washer, which will also remove loose bark that creates a handy hiding place for the pests. There is a new, serious threat to one of our favorite trees. The crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS), Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae, is a scale insect native to East Asia and feed mainly on crape myrtle (Lagerstroemiae sp.) Gray bark scale won’t kill crape myrtles, but it can be washed off if you don’t like the look. Controlling the scale will result in the disappearance of the sooty mold. Mulching around the tree can help the soil maintain enough moisture during drought periods. If you look closely under the waxy covering, you may notice clusters of pink eggs or tiny nymphs, which are known as “crawlers.” Female pests exude a pinkish liquid when crushed. Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (let’s call it CMBS) is a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation. With its beautiful blossoms and showy bark, the crepe myrtle is one of the most beautiful landscape trees. Moisture, which is the main season when powdery mildew flourishes commonly develops on crape myrtles in... Tail ( Trametes versicolor ) is a messy insect pest that leaves behind a sticky honeydew residue in which sooty! Beautiful blossoms and showy bark, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of mature. 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