Trees in New Town are suffering from two infestations that need owner attention and care before more damage is done to our green space.
1) Crepe Myrtle White Scale
(see photo 1). This insect infestation will develop into black sooty mold. These insects spend most of their life cycle imbedded to one tree, the exception is a phase we are probably entering into now when they hatch into walkers and can become airborne.
Some immediate intervention of scrubbing these trees with soap and water and applying a root drench may put a stop to the infection. The root drench would be a Bayer or Safari product that can be purchased easily, mixed with water and poured around the base of the tree. Here is a video to help you deal with the infection:
Monitoring for continued improvement and re-application next season may be warranted. There is evidence of some infection in our common area trees that the Association will need to deal with as well, so homeowners should do their part now to protect their property.
Getting white scale under control will help stop them from migrating to other areas of the community. They are largely known to infest Crepe Myrtle - but have been found in other species of trees and shrubs across the Southeast US.
2) Bagworms on Leyland Cypress trees. If bagworms have infected your Leland Cypress trees to this extent (see photo 2) you may have to replace the whole tree. These trees are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Spraying can be an expensive procedure (do in late spring) and could cost more than replacing the tree(s).
Arborvitae can also be infected with bagworms. On evergreens, they’ll eat lots of the buds and foliage, causing branch tips to turn brown and then die. Bagworms can be removed if caught early. You have to cut off the bagworms, and all their silk, and destroy them. Otherwise, bagworms wrap silk around the twigs that they build their bags on, which could kill the tree twigs a few years from now. And bagworms can use this silk to leap to other trees and shrubs or even property. On Casey Boulevard, some bagworms have spread from foliage to house exteriors. So if you see them, remove them immediately!
Help us to keep these infestations from spreading and becoming a much larger problem for the community as a whole.
Photo 2. Bagworms on Leyland Cypress trees