Is there someone would could come out to my yard to assess the damage?

Asked June 10, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

I have 3 20ft. holly trees that a tree cutting co. said was infested with scale. this is the 2nd year of infestation and it goes up 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottom of each tree. What do I do? I looked on line and saw that one could use an oil mixture or something nasty like insecticide. I have lots of birds in the trees, especially the young. Don't want to hurt them.

Baltimore Maryland trees and shrubs holly cottony camellia scale

1 Response

Your holly tree has an infestation of cottony camellia scale. The webbing is a spider web and has no relationship with the scale insects and is not harming the tree. You should spray the tree with a summer dilution of horticultural oil. The optimum time to spray is when you see the tiny hatchlings crawling around the tree (they are actually called crawlers), and on a cloudy day when the outdoor temperature is no higher than 80 degrees. You should also spray the tree again during the dormant season (winter) with a full-strength, dormant oil.
Horticultural oil will not harm the birds or predatory insects.