White specs on scots pine

digger714

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Hello everyone. I just noticed these white specs on the needles of my scots pine. Here are some pictures. If anyone needs more, please let me know. Im wondering if this is what is referred to as scale? If anyone could identify this for me, i would appreciate it, and what to do to help, and also what should be done to prevent it. Thanks again for any help.
 

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That's scale, alright. Get some Bayer (as in the aspirin company) Advanced systemic for trees and shrubs. Follow the instructions for container plants on the label. Mix w/water and apply as a drench; supposed to be resistant to rain. Good for a lot of pests as well as scale. Available @ most home improvement stores. Do it soon.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Definitely looks like scale to me too. In addition to Greg's advice, I'd recommend moving the tree away from your other trees.

I have one red pine that has gotten scale twice, and I picked them off individually with tweezers, then dabbed the spot with some rubbing alcohol, then hit the whole tree with insecticide.
 

digger714

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Thanks alot Greg. There are only two branches that have it on there, but i can tell it works fast. Ill go in the morning and find some. Does anyone know what causes this, and how to prevent it? Does it get on all trees, or mainly conifers? Thanks again for the help.
 

digger714

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Thanks Brian. I did move it away from the others until i found out more. Should i take the needles, or just the white spots off to keep it from spreading?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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No need to remove the needles if you can remove the scale. You can probably just scrape them off between your finger and thumb and save the needles. It looks like the tree is pretty infested, so depending on your time/motivation it might be quickest to hit them with insecticide. Problem is, you can't tell if they're dead since they have a shell that will remain.

Scale seems to hit weak trees, and those with lots of sap; ficus, pine... Some recommend a preventative insecticide. I usually just treat if I see anything. Look for shiny, sticky leaves, and "soot", their excrement. Those are telltale signs, just like ants are for aphids.
 

digger714

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Cool, Thanks again Brian. Yeah, i got the tree after repotting time, and it needs it bad, so i can see it
being kinda weak. I appreciate it.
 

Vance Wood

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Scale is a common problem with Mugo Pines especially if there is an infected tree near by that you have no control over. You can physically remove the scale by using a soft bristled tooth brush dipped in denatured alcohol. You can spray but there are few sprays that will kill scale except oil sprays. You can mix your own by using 1/8 cup denatured alcohol, two TBS of Olive Oil, 1/8 cup Palmolive's green dish washing soap and water in a half gallon container. Spray this on the infected needles, and reapply in ten days. This usually works. I use this mix every time I see signs of them starting again. Don't give these guys a chance to get a foot hold they will totally infest a tree rather quickly. I have never had a problem with this mix but use at your own risk I make no guarantees.

The alcohol kills the crawlers and helps desolve the shells and the olive oil and soap suffocate the actual encased insect.
 

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