Please help with pest/disease problems

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by coniferophytus, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. coniferophytus

    coniferophytus Member

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    Z6 PA, USA
    I am experiencing 3 different problems on my conifers. The first one looks like black, smooth, waxy half-spheres... shown in pictures 'Scales 1.jpg' and 'Scales 2.jpg'. Could they be scales or aphids? Infestation started early last year. Initially they were few and far between, but in early October they spread. It's quite extensive now. All of my 150 conifers have them. I find them now even on the mulch, rocks, and the driveway. To the naked eye there aren't any insect parts. Maybe some overwintering resistant dormant form? It's just all waxy shell when breaking them open. What are they? Will they do serious damage to the plants? How should I control them?

    The second problem I've noticed is shown in 'Cottony substance.jpg'. It's a cottony-looking something on a golden mugo pine. Is this another insect problem or a fungus? Is it likely to spread? Sprayed it with a fungicide today - will see what happens... Would appreciate any help identifying and controlling these pest/disease problems.

    The third problem is what I believe to be a tube moth (Argyrotaenia pinatubana). I found them exclusively on white pines. The caterpillar laterally clumps together several needles to form a tube that it lives in. In the picture it looks like it was feeding on the outer end of the tube. I just hand picked them last fall. Searching the internet it appears that it doesn't cause serious damage and control (other than hand picking) is rarely necessary. Is this correct?

    Thank you!

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    #1 definintely sounds like scale insects, #2 definitely looks like scale insects. They're just two different kinds. #3 I would also think was a moth caterpillar chewing the ends off, as you do. Many mugo pines around here have been getting #2. You seem to have it mostly figured out, taking samples to nearest Cooperative Extension office or checking Extension web sites should help you complete your assessment. Try ______ State Online Guide to Pest Control or similar combinations of words when searching www.

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