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Scale on Pines (7 Replies)

Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Scale on Pinus: 7/2/2015
I have a problem with scale on Pinus Nigra Hornibrook, Pinus Leucodermus, and Pinus Densiflora X Nigra Jane Kluis. I have been using Ortho Volk oil for several years as a dormant spray, but it is not available any more. I have been reading labels for several horticultural oils and the ones I have seen cannot safely be used on dwarf conifers. I also have some mite issues. Can someone tell me what brand of horticultural oil they have used on dwarf conifers without damage. (Someone on line suggested Monterey oil.) Thank you for your comments.
Beverly Masaitis
Neshanic Station, NJ
masaitis@earthlink.net

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Posted July 3, 2015 at 11:54 am

Hi Bev,

scale is a very tough bug to beat this time of year when they’re all sealed up in their little shells. I recommend seeking out a systemic pesticide where you will essentially be making the entire plant toxic to the pest. Bayer makes such a product. Horticultural oils will have no effect right now.
Mites can normally be controlled with an occasional blast from the garden hose.
I hope this helps. Good luck.

Dave, Conehead.

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Posted July 3, 2015 at 11:59 am

Thanks Dave. What I am looking for is the appropriate brand of oil to buy for the next spring oil spray that will not harm the mentioned plants. Beverly

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Posted July 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm

I use an IPM spray program through a local nursery. Working closely with your local Cooperative Extension these folks have access to the “active crawler stage” of the scale insect when oil is most effective. They use a “light horticultural oil” which does not damage the plant or take out the good insects, birds or mammals but is lethal to the scale crawlers. However, this is useless unless you know when the “crawler” stage is active. This stage is dependent upon several variables and only your local Extension would have this information. I suggest you check with some of the larger nurseries in your area to see if they offer IPM (Integrated Pest Management) or; contact your local Extension for IPM specialists in your area. Scale insects often have several crawler stages during a growing season and application during any of these is effective. It may take several applications to eradicate the scale infestation completely.
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Jerry in Rochester
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Posted July 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Thank you Jerry. I have that information from the Extension, but I am looking for an oil to use on the dwarf conifers that some of you in ACS have had success using without harm. I used to use Ortho Volk oil before it went off the market. I did not have any problems with that oil on the conifers. Someone suggested “Monterey oil.” I see Monterey has less percentage petroleum than other brands. But the other brands I see do not make it clear that they are safe on some of the conifers. I am looking for someone in ACS who has used a particular brand of oil on their pines and did not have any damage on them. Maybe it doesn’t exist??

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Posted July 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Bev I have never had a scale problem but our Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County seems to recommend Neem Oil for scale on pines. Neem is the tree that the oil is derived from. It is an organic oil and there are any number of brands. I’m not sure what kind of scale you have – Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension has a list of oils that they recommend for use on landscape ornamentals. Scroll down to Table 2, about 1/2 through the table: Insecticide Products for Residential Landscapes

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Posted July 15, 2015 at 8:24 am

Per my State of Ohio Ag. inspector and timing: We get two windows of opportunity here in Ohio. The dates will change every year, but this rule of thumb has held constant.

They are active and vulnerable when the lilacs bloom (Syringa Vulgaris).
They are active again when the Rose of Sharon (Althea) starts to bloom.

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Posted July 15, 2015 at 9:30 am

Byron that is an interesting way to remember the timing! Do you have any advice for Bev’s question about which brand of oil to use? Bev it sounds like most of us don’t have experience with scale, as your key question has so far gone unanswered

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