All is not lost!
Last week I wrote about my struggling tulip Magnolia. It’s infested with scale, a nasty soft scale insect. It’s been a problem for two seasons. You can continue reading, or pop over to this page to view graphic photos.
Did you go look? It’s not pretty, is it?
I met with a certified arborist today to discuss the tree’s plight. The arborist nodded and said ‘yes it’s a problem,’ and agreed that gardens with tulip magnolias frequently harbor scale. He went on to say the problem is systemic and that most treatments don’t work.
He did, however suggest a fairly new product that has recently shown promise. Bayer Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed. It’s applied at the roots so no spraying. Further, it’s supposed to have minimal impact on beneficial insects, always a concern. I’m going to give it a try. He said improvement wouldn’t happen ‘over night’ but that with time, it may help. He noted the green shoots on the tree and the lack of mold as two good signs. Apparently all my scraping and washing helped.
The arborist also approved of the banding my husband banded did last summer. It’s an ant barrier, a sticky substance that the ants won’t cross. Since ants protect the scale in order to harvest the secreted honeydew, it’s another step toward protecting the tree.