Brown- almost black scale on Peach Trees

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Whitey4, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Got a big pruning job, and the customer has thee peach trees. I immediately noticed a very heavy infestation of scale. Not white scale, these are dark brown, oval more or less, immobile, 1/16th to an 1/8th" long, and attached to the underside of the trunk, limbs and branches. In places, I can count over 25 in a square inch. I also noticed a few on some other ornamentals and trees, guessing that the peach trees are so infested, some of the scale has tried to live off other species.

    It might be Terrapin scale, but the color description doesnt fit, although I did not have my magnifier with me.... I'll take a closer look tomorrow. Since hort oil won't be effective now, what about the dumb and dumber approach? A power washer followed by a Malation app? These trees may be too far gone.... quit a few limbs have been lost in windstorms already, as the trees are weakened.

    I'm tempted to just tell the customer to remove them. They are dropping fruit now, the size of large olives. I'm no arborist.... any suggestions? Are these worth trying to save? TIA....
  2. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I wouldn't remove a tree over a scale infestation unless it really wasn't going to make until next year. If there's multiple generations maybe it makes sense to treat it this year and then really hit it good in the spring. Explain the situation to the client and they're usually understanding as long as you have a plan to fix it.

    I've never used a pressure washer before but I have on occasion scraped off twig inhabiting scale by hand on a small tree for a good client and I've pruned out infestations lots of times. The hand scraping is kinda Dumb N Dumber but sometimes it beats having to repeatedly explain to your A, or potential A client why you don 't have the problem under control in what seems like forever to them.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Thanks.... there are far too many to scrape off however. These are 15 foot trees, and every branch is heavilly infested... hard to even see the bark in places. Many main branches have come down on these trees this spring, so they have been infested for some time. What is a worry is that they are showing up even on some evergreens. This isn't a regular customer.... this is my first job with him. I never would have let it go this far without treatment of some kind...
  4. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I assumed that was the situation. I would probably throw out an estimate or maybe just discuss an IPM program for his property and see what he says. Let him know what you're seeing and what the future problems could be. If he's up for it then broach the subject of pressure washing if you feel confident it could work. If he's not interested in a program for his property then I wouldn't even worry about trying to sell a time consuming and expensive experimental treatment that may or may not work because he isn't interested in taking care of his property to begin with.
  5. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    whitey 4,

    Scout and spray. Plan on many Scout trips to hand lens the "Crawlers" and spray with A Spray for Insect/Disease like Home Orchard Fruit Spray.

    The crawlers are easy to kill. It will take TIME to get all the Scale.

    Sell the client the IPM method....Scout And Spray.....Early Spring Dormant Oil Spray Too is key for the "Old Adult Scale".

    Use Growing Degree Days to estimate when the scale you have identified, will be hatching, then Scout and Spray.

    To do this job correctly it will take time.

    If the client opts to have the tree as "Ornamental", you can spray in spring with Florel I believe when in bloom to "Abort the Fruit"......Then Drench 2x 6 weeks apart with Safari Insecticide.

    Either way, when done properly, scale will LOSE.

    I would do The IPM Fruit sprays and Eat the Fruit.

  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Valuable info here heritage and from PHS.... I've printed this thread out for my files. Well, I guess this guy liked my pruning, as he is now a regular mow and blow and signed up for a broadleaf app. He does his own fert, but I told him to cut the Scotts fert app rates in half, and he is amenable to that.

    Bad news is he will be moving in a year, and has decided to get rid of the peach trees, as he won't be there long term, and I have to admit, getting rid of them now will help his resale value. They look awful. Still, I think he wants to treat for any remaining scale on the other ornamentals. The house next door also has some very old peach trees.... I believe the original owners were of Greek decent and related, as both also had grapevines and several other similar plantings, but the peach trees next door are not infested. I will talk to them about using some hort oil this fall.

    Thanks for the replies.

  7. olive123

    olive123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    do you have lobate lac scale in you area? could be it
  8. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

  9. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    Your Welcome :)


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