What is happening to my Magnolia? Magnolia Scale!
Are you starting to notice white spots all over your Magnolia? Are you starting to notice a sticky substance all over the plant and at the base of the plant? You are not alone; it is called magnolia scale and it is running rampant all over the Chicagoland area this year. These small insects crawl all over the plants and survive by sucking the sap from the tree. The tree can tolerate small amounts of these insects, but if the insects go untreated that can cause the decline of the tree.
To effectively treat the magnolia scale bugs you want to target them when they are still crawling around on the plant! The adults will be more resistant to chemicals or horticultural oil. It will generally take multiple applications of either product to effectively treat the bugs. To be sure you have scale, you can bring in a sample of your tree to www.platthillnursery.com for diagnosis and product recommendations.