EMERGENCY! My sick Fukien Tea tree has brown fuzz.. and little bugs.. Please help before it dies!

jlins

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Hello friends,

I come to you in my time of need for my poor sick tree. I need some help and remedy solutions to remove this brown fuzz and these little brown/black bugs in the soil.

The brown fuzz in the pictures is growing at the stems of the leaves on quite a lot of the branches. From what I have read, the culprit is not having enough humidity/light. So I have started misting my tree twice daily and cranking the humidifier. I have tried to scrape this stuff off but its quite difficult to remove without also removing the leaves.

The little brown bugs that I presume to be aphids are in the soil and only the soil. I do not see them on the tree. I have mixed some aphid killer with water and only recently started to pour it in with my water.

Please help me identify this fuzz and find a remedy to save my precious tree!

Thank you in advance!
 

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Paradox

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I think they are wooly aphids and you need to spray the tree with aphid killer, not mix it into the watering water (unless its some type of aphid insecticide Im not aware of).
Unless it is insecticide that is safe to use inside the house, I highly recommend taking it out into a garage or shed to spray it, DO NOT spray it inside the house.
READ THE LABEL
Let it dry before bringing it back in.
 

jlins

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I think they are wooly aphids and you need to spray the tree with aphid killer, not mix it into the watering water (unless its some type of aphid insecticide Im not aware of).
Unless it is insecticide that is safe to use inside the house, I highly recommend taking it out into a garage or shed to spray it, DO NOT spray it inside the house.
READ THE LABEL
Let it dry before bringing it back in.
I just looked up photos of woolly aphids and they seem to be white? The bugs I am seeing are dark brown or black, its hard to tell due to their small size.
 

Paradox

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I just looked up photos of woolly aphids and they seem to be white? The bugs I am seeing are dark brown or black, its hard to tell due to their small size.
yea I saw that too but I dont know what else they could be except Woolly Adelgids, in which case the treatment is the same.
Did you try to pry one off with a pair of tweezers by chance and take a closer look at them?
 

jlins

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yea I saw that too but I dont know what else they could be except Woolly Adelgids, in which case the treatment is the same.
Did you try to pry one off with a pair of tweezers by chance and take a closer look at them?
So the fuzz itself is not a bug, it is coming out from the tree bark. The only time I will see these bugs is if I move my tree and there are some on the surface it was sitting. Or if I dig around in the soil for a bit.
 

jlins

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So the fuzz itself is not a bug, it is coming out from the tree bark. The only time I will see these bugs is if I move my tree and there are some on the surface it was sitting. Or if I dig around in the soil for a bit.
I ripped some of the fuzz off with pliers as well to investigate further. I will double check when I get home.
 

Paradox

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Agree.... I have no idea what this could be
sorry
 

Cable

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It does appear to be some kind of gall. I'm thinking caused by an insect laying eggs but I'm not real familiar with diseases in tropicals.
 

StarGazer

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Hi @jlins,

Damage seems to be widespread in your tree, which unfortunately is not a good sign.

From picture 4, there seems to be a pattern to the growth, at the base of the leaf clusters, and coming from the tree; so, this tree might:
1) have a pathogen that affects that specific area (virus, insect or fungus); or 2) be stressed, and what you see is a response of Fukien trees to stress, that leads to the pathology you see (localized, non photosynthetic fuzz growing from tree), and which is independent from a pathogen.

If it is a gall, as @Cable points out, it could be an insect, targeting buds, and preventing them from developing.

If you know that your tree has not been maintained under the correct conditions, you can to try to remove the stressors first, before you treat with pesticides or fungicides which tend to be toxic. Adjust light, soil, temperature, water and nutrients. There might be some Fukien tree experts in this forum which may help you with the proper conditions for Utah.

I hope your tree recovers.
 
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jlins

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Hi @jlins,

Damage seems to be widespread in your tree, which unfortunately is not a good sign.

From picture 4, there seems to be a pattern to the growth, at the base of the leaf clusters, and coming from the tree; so, this tree might:
1) have a pathogen that affects that specific area (virus, insect or fungus); or 2) be stressed, and what you see is a response of Fukien trees to stress, that leads to the pathology you see (localized, non photosynthetic fuzz growing from tree), and which is independent from a pathogen.

If it is a gall, as @Cable points out, it could be an insect, targeting buds, and preventing them from developing.

If you know that your tree has not been maintained under the correct conditions, you can to try to remove the stressors first, before you treat with pesticides or fungicides which tend to be toxic. Adjust light, soil, temperature, water and nutrients. There might be some Fukien tree experts in this forum which may help you with the proper conditions for Utah.

I hope your tree recovers.
Thank you for all the tips. I have a good grow light for it to ensure it gets enough light. Unfortunately I do not have a good window to put it next to where I live. Luckily I am moving to a better house in a month so hopefully I can remedy this by then. I have been turning up the humidity in hopes of it helping. It definately has bugs in the soil as well so I have been spraying aphid killer on it per the directions on the bottle. I am hopeful that will solve the problem. Do you have any recommendations on a good fungicide?
 

AJL

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Looks a bit like eggs from some kind of moth. Some species cover their eggs with fur to proect them Have you tried removing or squashing them?
 

jlins

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Looks a bit like eggs from some kind of moth. Some species cover their eggs with fur to proect them Have you tried removing or squashing them?
Yes I have pulled off some with pliers. It was just fuzz, I did not find any eggs.
 

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