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Fall in moderate climates, it is key to look out for pests bonsai time. In colder climates, many insects die from the cold. Not the place where I live. During the past week I’ve found all varieties of unwanted guests in the garden. This week I will focus on the scale.
olive healthy looking foliage
What is this – a small black dot. Could be?
Yes, it is the scale
Scales come in many shapes and sizes, and almost all varieties of bonsai are susceptible to some scale or another. Closely inspect your trees on a regular basis is the best way to avoid bad infestations.
Scale olive foliage
The wily creatures in this olive grew between the wire and the branch which are very difficult to detect. It was when this olive des-wiring that I realized I had scale. It was the first time I’d seen level in the tree.
How to get around scale? Once you see them on their trees, you probably do not. Fresh from the “crawlers” shell find a good place to grab and move rarely after that, but trust your hard shells usually for protection. The scale can also be moved from a plant through wind and can be carried around by other insects such as ants.
What I did when I found? I picked them up with tweezers. The next step is to spray oil prophylactic. This works well for minor infestations – nastier scale infestations and difficult to treat, such as pine needle scale requires a stronger attack plan -. More on that Friday
small scale (photo courtesy Trung Ho)
small scale (photo courtesy Trung Ho )
Scale is commonly found in junipers too, so be on the look out.
Scale juniper procumbens
Scale in Shimpaku
This article was originally published on bonsaitonight.com