Problem and How to Treat It?

Asked June 4, 2013, 2:12 PM EDT

We have seen white, sticky masses on the new growth (mostly lower limbs) of
the White Pine trees on our retaining wall. I am attaching a picture of it. Can you identify what this is and suggest how we might deal with it. There is plenty of new growth on these trees, and except for this problem, they look quite healthy. Thank you. We think it might be mealy bugs OR ADELGID...fibers and eggs were found by our pest person. He is interested in your opinion as well.
Also, under the trees along the wall we have very healthy honeysuckle interspersed with some poison ivy. We were told the poison ivy spreads quickly and that it could be difficult to kill the poison ivy without killing the honeysuckle. Do you have suggestions for the person who will try to both kill the poison ivy and preserve the honeysuckle. (He is certified in herbicides.)

Allegheny County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

From your photo it does appear like Pine Bark Adelgid. Here is a fact sheet that may help identify and treat for this pest:

It is most likely too late for dormant oil treatment at this time. However, I would suggest using the following spray to help avoid sooty mold, which may be harder on the trees than the adelgid:
1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon soap (not detergent or anti-bacterial types), and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Spray until the point of dripping.

With regard to controlling poison ivy, it depends on the pesticides laws for your location. In my area glyphosate (commonly known as Round-up or similar products) may be used for poison ivy. Please check with your authorities. If it is permissible, use it carefully as directed on the label, and apply it so as not to affect the honeysuckle.

Wear protective clothing and plastic gloves. Pull or cut as much of the poison ivy as possible. Wait about a week until it starts growing new shoots; then use a small water-colour type paintbrush to "paint" the herbicide on each of the ivy leaves. If it happens to drip onto a honeysuckle leaf, remove that leaf immediately. Glyphosate is non-selective and can kill any plant it touches, so be aware that this is a rather tendious process.

Thank you, Lynne Marie. I now have another question. My licensed pest control person said the attached photos are of poison ivy. My gardener says it is not. What do you think? I am very allergic to poison ivy and need to know. This is what I was referring to when I mentioned the honeysuckle and poison ivy.

Poison ivy is a master of disguise. The leaves may have notched margins, or be smooth. It can be shiny, or not. And it changes throughout the season. Here is a site that may help with identification:

In your case, I see no reason to rule out poison ivy. Assume it is poison ivy, and handle it with care.

I hope this helps. Good luck.