Paul Rae
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:57 am
Location: Queensland Australia

Tiny black spots on the branches and trunk of ficus

hello, i am new to this forum and needed some help i have a few Ficus bonsai which seem to be getting tiny black spots on the trunk and branches but not on the leaves, is this still a form of sooty mold?? And is there a chemical free way of getting rid of it??

thanks for your time.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Paul,

Welcome to the forum. It's hard to tell without seeing the problem. One of the first things that came to mind is that they may be scale insects. If you are not familar with them, do a Google image search as there are various forms of scale.

Adult scale are imobile lumps that affix themselves to various protions of plants and extract the plants precious bodily fluids. (anybody get that reference?) They have a hard shell and so are difficult to kill by spraying exclusively. Mechanical removal is definitely part of the plan along with spraying in order to kill the young.

Here at The Helpful Gardener we try to take the least offensive approach first rather than resort to chemical pesticides. At any rate, the first step is to identify the problem. If scale do not seem to fit the bill perhaps you can describe the problem in greater detail.

Norm

Paul Rae
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:57 am
Location: Queensland Australia

Thanks for the quick response, i hope to get a photo up a.s.a.p. ....
I have had a good look at the area and the black spots don't have a body as such, i can run my finger over it and feel nothing, so i am guessing its a mold, or fungus?? to describe it better, there seems to be a grey patch on the trunk and branches with tiny black dots on it, the dots are distinctive and spreading but not joining together to form a patch of mold...not sure if any of this is helping??

thanks again
I have a few Ficus bonsai that are all getting tiny black spots on the trunk and branches not on the leaves? Is this a form of sooty mould? And is there a chemical free way of getting rid of it??

Thanks for your time.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Paul,

Sometimes insects can leave behind secretions that turn black/moldy. I assume that you have looked the tree over well and have found nothing. Scale are the only problem I have ever had with Ficus so I am unsure what else may be wrong. A pesticide and/or fungicide may be in order.

One product that covers both fronts, and is fairly safe to use, is Neem Oil. It is a natural extract and I have had some luck with it as a pesticide, less so as fungicide. Still, I always try to start with the safer/natural remedy first.

Does anyone else have any ideas for Paul?

Norm

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

Other than the possibility that the spots are a natural feature of the tree's bark, I'm thinking neem too.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”