Plant Identification and Infection Information

Asked May 14, 2020, 10:24 AM EDT

Are you able to identify the plant in the attached photos? I think that it is a native. Also, are you able to identify the pest or infection on the woody parts? Do i need to be concerned and is there a way to treat this?

Cecil County Maryland

3 Responses

Hi - Your tree looks like a persimmon. Yes, we have a native type (Diospyros virginiana) and there are some Asian varieties sold in nurseries as well.

Unfortunately, we can see that your tree has an infestation of some type of armored scale. They are small insects that insert their mouthparts into the bark and feed on the plant cell contents. Over time, this feeding weakens the plant, leading to yellowing, wilting, and branch dieback. Here is more information about armored scales in general. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/armored-hard-scale-trees-and-shrubs

If this is a tree that you purchased recently from a nursery, I would recommend taking it back. Scale is very difficult to control and so it might be easiest to remove and replace this tree.

If you do want to try to manage the scale, you can first try lightly brushing off the scale covers from the bark using a soft brush. Be careful to avoid damaging the bark. Scales are most susceptible to insecticidal treatments when the juvenile insects (called "crawlers) are active. You can monitor for them by putting a piece of double-sided tape around a branch. When you see the small insect get stuck to the tape, you can apply horticultural oil at a rate of 1%. Horticultural oil can be purchased in garden centers or hardware stores. Consult the product label for instructions.

Christa

Christa,
Thank you so much for the response and information. I greatly appreciate. It is my understanding that our native persimmons require a male and a female to produce fruit. Is this correct?
Thanks again,
Tara

Hi Tara,
Yes, that is correct. Native persimmons are dioecious, meaning there are male and female trees and you would need one of each to ensure pollination. There are Asian persimmon cultivars available that produce seedless fruits without pollination.

Christa