Is this scale? Or something else
I was hedging my holly bush for the first time this season and saw an abundance of this white chunky substance only after started cutting; not visible from the top. Much of it appears to be extruded, segmented. This is inside the bush and on the underside. Please advise? Thank you for any help.
Harford County Maryland
Yes, this is cottony camellia scale. It has been very prevalent this year.
We recommend using a summer rate of horticulture oil. This is a good time to spray because the crawler stage of the insect is present now and they are the most vulnerable to treatment. Read and follow the label directions of the product you choose. You can find horticultural oil in garden centers or the garden section of some hardware stores.
Here is our page about cottony camellia scale and recommendations for management, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cottony-camellia-scale-shrubs
Scale insects are notoriously difficult to control. If the problem persists, you can treat again with horticultural oil in the dormant season (after the leaves have fallen from deciduous trees). Pruning out some of the heavily damaged portions of the shrub is also okay. You should monitor your hollies for this pest next year too.