Magnolia Scale

Magnolia scale is showing up this season. We have not seen this insect for a few years. This cyclical insect must be dealt with in the appropriate manner and timing is essential.

Magnolia scale if left untreated can kill a mature and healthy magnolia tree.  Our team of plant health care specialists can help with an action plan to save your tree and provide ongoing maintenance.

What to look for:  Scale will form on new softer tissue primarily on the limbs.  Magnolia scale looks like brown bumps on the bark and will usually show symptoms of a sticky and shiny substance called honeydew.  Honeydew will allow dust to stick to walkways, plants bellow and attract hornets and bees.   The tree itself will become sticky and dust will stick to the foliage and make everything look brown and dirty.  The tree can start to die back from lack of health a vigor within the first season. 

Cycle and how it works. 

Magnolia scale will overwinter as partially developed young, and begin feeding in spring and summer. Young scales are small, flat, and far less apparent. Adults scale may be brown or mottled orange. By late August or end of summer in Ontario, most of the females have produced nymphs.  These nymphs will migrate to and settle on the new growth of a twig.  This will allow them to start the cycle again. Depending on how badly infested a tree is, it could take several years and several treatments to get the issue fully under control.     

How to help your Magnolia tree.  

1.  Call a local ISA certified arborist.

2.  Treat with dormant oil, horticultural oil or soap.  Each treatment has a specific timing that is appropriate. 

3.  Remove scale on lower portions by hand. 

4.  Deep root fertilizer or compost tea your tree to improve health and vigor after the infestation is under control 

5.  Prune tree to improve airflow and structure. 

6.  Mulch and water tree to improve health and vigor.  

Our team of expert staff has all the education and training to help solve any issue you may have with your trees shrubs and gardens.  Please feel free to call or email today and have us look over your property and make our expert recommendations.  We know magnolia scale and how to treat it, call today for your free consultation.