Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

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Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby Fuzzyfot » Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:44 pm

Hi folks,

I'm wondering if anyone is able to identify the pest or fungus that is getting into this plant. The growths in the picture (Pic 2 is best demonstration) cover almost the entire stem and make the stem very soft, with the branches drooping over. It also affects the new growth which turns black/brown (as pictured).

I'm in Perth, WA. The plant has good water, sun and ventilation. The plant is a Radermachera 'Summerscent'

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Fuzzyfot
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Re: Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby abwal » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:04 pm

It looks like scale. It can be removed with a brush dipped in soapy (not detergent) water. If the area under attack is large, you can spray with white oil which is available in most garden departments. If you do a search on the net for home made white oil, you will find lots of sites offering recipes.
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Re: Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby Fuzzyfot » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:27 pm

Thanks Abwal. The area under attack is almost the entire stem area of the plant. Would scale cause the 'droopy' effect of the branches/stem?
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Re: Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby abwal » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:57 am

Scale feed on the sap of the plants, so a high concentration of them would tend to make plants appear to be lacking in water regardless of how well they are watered. Spraying with white oil ( even many grocery shops with a garden section sell it) or soapy water (not detergent) will also work. Do not spray in the heat of the day or your plant may burn badly. I prefer to spray of an afternoon when the sun is off the plant.
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Re: Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby tam » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:36 pm

Fuzzy do you have ants on the plant too? You will need to get rid of them or the problem will come back.
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Re: Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby Fuzzyfot » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:13 pm

Hi Tam,

No ants at all, which given your information, is great news! Thanks.

.........
Abwal, the coverage is across the entire stems, so the drooping is probably related to that. The coverage is so thick that I've even used a very light scouring pad to clean off some of the scale and then apply the white oil. In some areas after white oil application the scale seems to create an impervious cover all the way around!

I've white oiled it to death and some of the new shoots are almost free of it but i expect over the coming days i'll just systematically scrape scaled areas off and reapply white oil.

Very much appreciate your help!
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Re: Pest or fungus affecting stem and new growth

Postby abwal » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:42 pm

Personally, I have found a fairly stiff brush - size depending on thickness of branch - dipped in soapy water the best bet.
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