Help!

oliviad

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Hi there!

So to preface, I'm Olivia. I'm 24, and after my dad passed away, I kind of took over taking care of his trees with my mom. It's been seven years and although we have the help of some of his friends from the bonsai world, we still get a little stumped and stuck in the mud from time to time.

One of his oldest trees, a juniper (will post pictures) has some sort of a bug - it has it last summer and although it's not as bad now, it's still there. One of my dad's buddies thought it was scales, but now he's not so sure. I was wondering if someone could take a look at the pics I've attached and give me some guidance? The tree itself is around 450~ years old, and I don't think I will be able to handle it dying, lol. I honestly won't know what to do with myself. I've sort of taken this one under my wing for the past 7 years, and I have a soft spot for it.

Thank you so much in advanced!

Olivia

IMG_0886.JPG IMG_0889.JPG IMG_0891.JPG
 

Rob_phillips

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It does show a close resemblance to the scale ive had.
Although the scale ive seen on my trees kind of looks like an egg white with a yellow centre.
Though when i try to zoom on the pic for a closer look it blurs abit.
Treat it with systemic pesticide and try to remove as many of them by hand as possible and squish them.

Also there could be a chance its a fungus but nothing springs to mind that look like scale.
but as i said before its hard to get a close up view.
After treating with pesticide try antifungal aswell.
 
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GGB

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Scale isn't a bad guess. And Rob is from England so there's a chance it's just a differnet species than he's seen. Plus I beleive there are probably quite a few species in general. Scale can be really hard to remove by hand in my experience, I mean like physically rip off.
 

oliviad

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Should I use something in particular to pick it off with? Like a tweezer, or...?

Are there any brands/types of products I should use in specific?
 

Rob_phillips

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When i had my out break which wasnt half a bad as your out break i was able to sit down and brush then off with my fingers one by one.
It took me hours but i think i made a difference and helped stop there life cycles.
As @GGB says im from the uk and we have stricked rules on the sale of pesticides so we only get the weak stuff.
You will need some one from your area to tell you what chemicals and brands are available to you.
Just make sure its a systemic spray.
As mature scale produce a waxy coating that prevents the contact killer sprays from penetrating to the bug and killing it.
so systemic sprays soak into the plants vascular system and gets distributed around it so when the bug bites and feeds it dies.
The spray will though instantly kill all eggs and young walker scale that are around.
Make sure you repeat the spraying every 10 days for 3 cycles atleast to disrupt there life cycles and help reduce there numbers.
 
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CasAH

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You can use Neem Oil or Bayer Advanced 3 in 1 insecticide. You should be able to find them at a nursery or big box store near you.

Just read the label and make sure anything you pick up says it works on juniper scale.

Also read and follow the dirictions on application for scale.
 

Cadillactaste

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Had some on my thuja. What I found comforting was. The guy who is an arborist that I trust had came out to quote us on trees for the backyard. He took his eye piece out and looked. (He treats pests,disease and weak trees. My front lawn tree is having some sort of hormone treatment to transfer energy used for foliage and keep into the main tree for health and vigor this week. He's good...so, though yes...scale...just treat and look for moving critters. White specks on the foliage most likely is the eggs from them.) Scale eggs don't move...Scale moves...eggs stay in one place and don't. But it looks like what I had. He said my treatment had certainly killed off all living forms...and we was into fall. So didn't think I would see any critters about. He didn't seem overly concerned with it. Said to just treat and eggs are more cosmetic...it's the critters moving you need to kill. So I treat even when I see no movement...and will work on removing more eggs later this spring. And I'd taken a toothbrush to some sections. But was less concerned after he spoke to me on the subject. Eggs are visually unappealing but it's the critters we need to focus on.
 

Cadillactaste

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I forgot...one thing he said that had me looking at things differently. When dealing with horticultural aspects...you will see pests. Don't stress it...it happens. You can attempt to be proactive. But it still happens. You notice it...you treat it...and just breathe. It happens...life goes on...don't let it stress you or you will lose much enjoyment from your hobby. You're bigger than the pests...just be observant. Manual watering allows one to get one on one with their trees...observe every time you walk up to one. Get to know them...and don't stress pests. You just deal with them...and know you got this.
 

Dav4

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I'd say scale for sure. That looks like a collected rocky mountain Juniper? I'm wondering how much sun you're giving it and what the soil is like. It's a nice, old tree and keeping it happy and healthy will go a long way toward preventing the scale infestation it currently has.
 

oliviad

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Thank you all for such amazing responses - I really appreciate the help. I always helped my dad with his trees when I was little, but I never expected to kind of... have them all fall on me like this. My dad was really, really dedicated to all of them. He'd had this hobby since his early college days and he passed away when he was nearly 60. It was kind of insane to watch him work on them because it was a whole other level of art. Tons of pressure on me in that respect, lol! But I'm eager to learn and I've found that I actually really enjoy it.

To answer your question: it is a collected Rocky Mountain Juniper. I'm unsure the last time it was repotted - I'd have to ask my dad's friend. As for the amount of sun it gets, I'd say that it stays in the sun quite a bit but does get a decent amount of shade. It has always been situated in the same place on my deck, like, since I was probably 5. We actually keep all of them in the same places he'd had them.

So, I'll definitely try to get as many of the scales off that I can, and get some of the products you guys mentioned. I really don't want it to spread to my other juniper. Mostly because I'm super proud that I collected and have been working on it by myself and STILL haven't managed to accidentally kill it.

Baby steps, right?
 

Dav4

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Give that juniper as much sun as you can. I'm not saying the scale infestation is a result of lack of sun, but these trees will be at their healthiest when in sun all day long.
 

oliviad

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Awesome, I'll make sure it's getting a ton of sun. I appreciate the help.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Cool Story!

Nice tree!

Your father must be proud!

Sorce
 

oliviad

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So what I'm assuming are the eggs (?) come off really easily. I don't see any moving critters anywhere. Could the dead eggs just be the remains of when the bug was active?
 

Vance Wood

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I've been fighting scale for years and I have never seen eggs, I seldom see the insects until they have developed their little impregnable scale castles of doom.
 

Dav4

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So what I'm assuming are the eggs (?) come off really easily. I don't see any moving critters anywhere. Could the dead eggs just be the remains of when the bug was active?
Those 'eggs' are actually the outer shell of the scale insect... if you crush it and purple goo squirts out, there was a live insect in there, but most of those are likely to be empty.
 

discusmike

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Remember insects and disease attract to weak plants,after getting rid of the scale, get informed to make sure you are watering properly,sun,soil etc.How well does your soil drain? It looks like alot of moss growing on the soil,moss covered soil in my experience will trap moisture longer, please be carefull,i like your fathers tree, good luck!
 
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