digi_k
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Location: North Carolina

Please help my EUGENIA TOPIARY

First off, thank you for taking the time to read this. I bought two Eugenia Topiaries from Walmart in June 2010. They have been doing great (or so I think) until recently. One of them is not so good. I was attempting to research possible problems online and I came across this forum. Hopefully you can help me. Leaves have been drying up and falling off, some of them have this sappy looking sheen to them, and the tree itself has this bubbled up sappy stuff. Please let me know if you need more information than what the photos show. Thanks again!

[img]https://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc408/digi_k/100_1688.jpg[/img] [img]https://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc408/digi_k/100_1690.jpg[/img] [img]https://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc408/digi_k/100_1691.jpg[/img]

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

It looks like it could be the early stages of an infestation of scale. Young/early stage scale can be attacked successfully (I forget the successful agent), but adult/late stage scale are impermeable.

When we moved into this house in 1997, there was a podocarpus (not sure what variety) with a scale infestation so advanced that the survival of the tree/large shrub was doubtful, and the infestation of other plants was at risk. We had to remove the podocarpus, as there was no non-toxic method to get rid of the scale, and even the toxic methods weren't guaranteed. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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froggy
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Location: Toronto, ON, zone 5a

Scales was my first thought too - though these look bigger than any i've dealt with before.... there are sprays etc that claim to get rid of them, but you should most definitely keep that plant apart from any others, and spray everything that was close to it just to make sure it isn't spreading...
I've heard that using rubbing alcohol on a q-tip can help, but you may have to pick the though ones off with tweezers, since they are very hard to kill with anything.

check the forum on pest removal & good luck
;)

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rainbowgardener
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Oh yeah, major infestation. The "sappy stuff" is secreted by the scale insects not by the plant. It is a sweet sticky substance they exude called honeydew. Very harmful, because if there are ants around they love it and it also is a good growth medium for black mold and other fungal diseases.

As noted use a rubbing alcohol soaked swab on them, you have to touch each one individually with it. Even if you are a pesticide user, don't bother with them - the insects are protected inside a hard shell. You can spray them with horticultural oil, which just clogs up their breathing pores and smothers them.

The scale insects are a form of plant lice that suck the plant's juices. Especially in large quantities like you have, it can severely weaken the plant.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Hortman
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: Chicago area

Hello, digi_k. Sorry to hear about your Eugenia problem.
Cynthia_h, froggy, and rainbowgardener have given you some great
non-toxic advice. Definitely try those first to see if you can correct the
problem. But, if you feel OK with using pesticides when nothing else
works, there is a systemic insecticide from Bayer Advanced that might
work. Here's a link to a picture of the product.

[img]https://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/d1/d12d272b-c8b6-4bc1-904c-ebc80e091eeb_300.jpg[/img]

It is taken up through the roots and attacks the scale from the
inside. When the scales suck the juices they ingest the product and die.
So, try the other solutions first, and as a last resort, try the Bayer.
Good luck and let me know what happens.[/url]
Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area

cynthia_h
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digi_k, you're going to need to educate yourself on several topics very quickly:

The active ingredient in the product recommended by the previous poster is Imidacloprid, also found in many flea-fighting toxins applied to cats and dogs. It is an endocrine disrupter (my memory speaking here, not a recent look-up). Imidacloprid has also been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder, the huge die-off worldwide of honeybees over the last four or five years.

Consider carefully the consequences of using this product, esp. if you'd like to grow vegetables/herbs/fruits in your soil. Earthworms are our partners in the growing of plants, and a product known to be toxic to them is inadvisable from an ecological standpoint but also from a purely selfish "I want to eat from my own yard" standpoint.

And if you have children, or if relatives with children visit you, read up on the possibility of remaining contamination in shallow soil. Twelve (12!) month protection sounds pretty spooky to me.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

cynthia_h
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I thought, later, to conduct a "Search" of our forum here on Imidacloprid.

There are several extensive and thoughtful threads on Imidacloprid-containing pesticides here at The Helpful Gardener, a couple of which date back to mid-2008, when these compounds began appearing on the market.

The option to "Search the Forum" appears in lime-green letters against a black strip across the top of the page, immediately underneath the title banner. Click on Search the Forum and enter Imidacloprid as your Key Word. Don't worry about selecting Forums, authors, or anything else. Then select "Search."

The finds are listed from most recent backwards in time.

Best wishes.

Cynthia

digi_k
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:24 pm
Location: North Carolina

Thank you all!

Thank you all very much for all of your advice. I really appreciate it!

I immediately started researching scale after the first comment and I found a non-toxic recipe I could make to spray on my tree every other day for a week. I also have to use horticultural oil after the spray treatment is complete. I gave my tree a good trim, cutting off the severely infected area, trimmed off the dead leaves, and gently scraped off all the scales I could find... after the first spray... they fell right off so I think it's working. And most of the branches I snipped off were green inside, so I'm hoping that's a good sign my tree still has life in it...? It is about six feet away from my other one and I've checked that one over- it seems ok so I don't think it's spread.

Thank you for the warning about ants. We have a very bad ant problem during the summer and fortunately NOT during the winter... so on the bright side, this was a better time to have an issue. And also thank you for the heads up on effecting veggies and kids. I DO want to explore veggies this spring and although I don't have kids, my landlords have grandkids so avoiding that treatment is a good idea! :oD

Thank you all again for your help!! If I need more help I will message you personally as you all seem quite knowledgeable.

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rainbowgardener
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Glad it's been helpful... but if more questions arise, you are better off posting them, than PM (private messaging) anyone. By posting you get the benefit of everyone's experience. You never know who is lurking out there that has just the expertise you need. You will notice this thread has had 8 replies, but 144 views!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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