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Bay Laurel Tree and Scale

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31 Aug 2013 21:59 #2375 by chuckeroast
chuckeroast created the topic: Bay Laurel Tree and Scale
I have a bay laurel around 35 ft. tall and a spread around 20ft. Because it's so tall and the canopy is way up , I did not notice scale until black mold started showing up on plants under it.
Huge infestation!! What can I do to save my tree and get read of the scale?
The following user(s) said Thank You: SteveBrigham

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01 Sep 2013 16:09 #2376 by Julie Bawden-Davis
Julie Bawden-Davis replied the topic: Re:Bay Laurel Tree and Scale
Hello,

Scale on bay laurel is common, and you often don't notice it until the infestation is heavy. There are parasitic wasps that will help control scale insects, but they can only work efficiently if the infestation isn't too severe, and your infestation sounds severe. That being said, you will want to get the infestation under control so that biological controls, such as parasitic wasps can do their work. This can be accomplished by spraying the tree with a fine horticultural oil spray, which will suffocate the scale, but generally won't harm other insects, like wasps, unless sprayed directly on them. You must spray the undersides of the leaves and the top of the leaves. Do the spraying late in the day or early in the morning, not at midday. Wait a day or so and then spray the tree down with a strong spray of water, which will hopefully knock off a lot of dead scale, and it will also help clean the sooty mold, which has occurred. The mold forms on the sweet sticky liquid that the scale releases while feeding. If necessary, repeat this procedure (oil/water) a couple of times until you get the infestation under control. Then consider getting and releasing some parasitic wasps to help keep the scale that remains under control on a long-term basis. Such wasps include several: Aphytis, Coccophagus, Encarsia and Metaphycus. Let me know if you have more questions.

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