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crape myrtle fungus

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Flipper, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Flipper

    Flipper LawnSite Member
    from atlanta
    Messages: 17

    A client has a crape mytle tree that has some type of fungus on the branches. Its a grey , kind of scaley fungus that I have seen on tree stumps before.

    Is there a spray for this? If so, what is it?

    I really appreciate any help,, tony
  2. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    does it look like canker?. up north here, we have a plant called rose of sharon that occasionally wil get canker. it is unsightly, bus supposedly does not harm the plant.

    rose of sharon is the ony plant up here that i could of that would be somewhat similar to crape myrtle.
  3. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287


    We got Crepes up the wazoo here in Nash Vegas just like Hotlanta, but this don't sound familiar.

    Your discription makes me wonder if it's not a fungus but the pest called " scale". Pretty rare on a Crepe Myrtle but it happens. Are you familiar with this pest?

    Also, is the plant dead? Is the branch that the disease on dead? Got any pictures? If this is something you've seen on stumps before, this is a fare question knowing that the Crepes around here haven't put out any sprouts yet.

    Hook us up with more info, I bet someone here Knows.

    Good Luck, Landscraper

    P.S. Thought I'd also share a related moment of stupidity......I once spent 2 weeks diagnosing what turned out to be freakin paint drops on a Capatata Yew. DUH!
  4. Flipper

    Flipper LawnSite Member
    from atlanta
    Messages: 17

    I'm sorry, I forgot to mention that the tree seems to be in great shape. The owner of the tree was pretty concerned about it however, and sense I have never seen that before on a crape myrtle, I was concerned as well. From what yall mention, it does sound like scale. I'll search that on here and if I have to, will call the county extention office and see what they say.

    I could just tell her that it looks like "Paint spots" to me. LOL --Thanks for the laugh, ,,don't worry, I've done worse :)

    I did take a pic with my digital camera, but the dang camera had no room left, (I didn't know it at the time) so I'll try again.
  5. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Yep,unusual for a Crepe Myrtle to have scale,you can try copper oxychloride mixed with spraying oil,that'll cure scale or fungus.
  6. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287


    I've read several of your post and can tell that you are one of the more knowledgeable people on here.

    I think you would agree with the following statement:

    The first step to treating a pathogen in identifying it.

    I say, use I.P.M. - not cocktails.

  7. fshrdan

    fshrdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Flipper, the only real problems we have with crape myrtles down here are powdery mildew and aphids. There's no real pathogens for the bark in the winter. Sounds to me like it's just lichen. Lichen doen't harm the plant, and some might think it's unsightly, but it's not a bad thing. Some homeowners might think it's harming the plant since the lichen mixed with the exfoliating bark of some crapes can look a little ominous, but it's not. Tell him it's completely harmless... because it is.
  8. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

  9. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Landscraper your right the easiest way to treat something is identify it,however that is the hard part identifying it!,I had 15yrs in the Garden Centre business,always had people coming in saying my trees got this bug,fungus etc when it was something completly different,copper/oil is a relatively safe fungicide/insecticide combination for the home gardener to use,if it aint either of those two problems I wouldn,t worry to much about it,its probably just lichen or moss as fshrdan says.Easiest thing to do with a what is it problem is take a piece of the plant to your local nursery/garden centre they will give you a correct diagnosis on the spot,or find out for you.Got a lovely myrtle right outside my window here flowering its heart out.Cheers......
  10. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Messages: 406

    The likelihood that it is scale insects is pretty low. I've worked on Crepes in Houston, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Nashville and I've NEVER seen scale on them. Probable culprit is Powdery Mildew. Use a fungicide (I'm assuming you are liscened/certified) in the spring when the shrubs are fully leafed out but still somewhat soft and underdeveloped. Products like Cleary's 3336, Touche, Daconil and Bayleton are all excellent controls. Sometimes a blackish mildew will begin to appear in late spring-early summer. This is from the "honeydew" of aphids. Get control of the aphids prior to this happening and it should not be a problem. Get a sample and take to UG ag extension if still not sure. Good luck!

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