Skip to main content

Photo Credit: Katja Schulz

Could insects be slowly killing the trees in your yard and landscape? If you live in West Texas, this is a distinct possibility. Part of the challenge is identifying an issue before it is too late- and your trees are dead. The best way to fend-off scale insects that will harm your trees is by speaking with an ISA Certified Arborist about a treatment plan to keep trees healthy.

Are scale insects killing your trees? Here’s what you need to know:

Scale Insects are Abundant Right Now

Scale insects are pests that are protected by an armor-like shell or casing. These insects attach to the leaves of a tree- or other foliage- and remain there, often in large masses. Scale insects are common in Texas but can spell trouble for your trees.

There are two types of scale insects that we are seeing in abundance this time of year: Obscure Scale and Cottony Cushion Scale. Both are detrimental, and both merit a visit from a reputable arborist in the region. Oaks are particularly susceptible, but in Texas, Cedar Elms are also vulnerable and can be significantly impacted by an infestation.

Treatment Approaches

Depending on the severity of the infestation, your arborist may treat the tree with a spray type application. The best time of year to treat for Cottony Cushion scale is early summer, typically June. The best time of year to treat for Obscure scale is later in the summer, typically late July to early August.  These pests are quite resilient and generally require annual treatments. Talk to your ISA Certified Arborist to learn more.

Signs of a Problem

The symptoms of a problem can be subtle, so you will need to keep a close eye on your trees. Have you noticed small, dead branches or twigs on your trees? Oddly enough, this could be a sign that your tree is infested with scale insects. These dead twigs can be throughout a tree’s canopy if the infestation is severe.  

Talk to an ISA Certified Arborist

Not sure which kind of scale is impacting your trees? Don’t worry; an ISA Certified Arborist can help determine what type of pest you are dealing with so that you can treat your trees accordingly. It is important to carefully inspect the tree and then treat it for the specific pest or disease present. Failure to treat trees properly can result in irreversible damage. From scale insects to aphids, talk to an ISA Certified Arborist first.

Are scale insects impacting the health and hardiness of your trees? If you live on the South Plains, talk to the professionals at Hildebrandt Tree Tech, located in Lubbock at (806) 441-7722. If you see signs of scale insects, don’t delay. Call our ISA Certified Arborists for prompt intervention and comprehensive care to protect your trees today.