Spring Pests – How to deal with Pine Scale on your garden pines

It just kills me when I can finally head out into my garden in spring, finally being finished with our windy Saskatchewan winters, only to find some of my green beauties being eaten alive by pests. The weather has only just gotten into the double digits and these tiny monsters are already hard at it. Pine Scales.  This ornamental upright mugo pine is one of my favorites in the winter landscape here in the prairies. It will never get really huge, it doesn’t grow that quickly and it provides year round interest and colour.  For the last few years I have been battling to get rid of scale. Two years ago, I blasted this baby with this Dormant Spray Kit of Green Earth Liquid Lime Sulphur and Horticultural oil spray. Last year, there were very few scales, but this year they have returned with avengence.   I had to wait the day time temperature was over 5 degrees Celsius to spray. And also I had to wait for night time temperatures to not be plunging in order to turn my water on.  I have yet to see what a “crawler” looks like. I only see these nasty white scales they leave behind. So I am treating anyway. It is also recommended if you only have a small amount of scales, just to cut them out and get rid of those branches that are infected. Hope this helps you in your pursuit to make your garden beautiful!  You should be able to find this Dormant Spray Kit at most garden centres, even Canadian Tire or Home Depot.  Now go kill those nasties!!

hardy to zone 2 in Canada. 8 years old – 6 ft tall

I recommend purchasing a spray bottle to attach to your hose like the one pictured below. You will want to label this and save it for future use with these products. The oil is not nice to try to clean and you will not want to re-use it with other sprays. Keep this bottle, just for use with the Horticultural oil.  So it is early May here in Saskatchewan.  The product recommends you apply it early in the day to allow time for it to dry on the tree and avoid the chance of it freezing. The goal with this product is to kill the scale insect. You want to kill them while they are in the crawler stage. I may have waited too long, this is a pretty nasty looking infestation that I have on this beautiful tree.  So we need to spray once in early spring to get rid of this white scale and once again 10 days later, so you can try to kill the crawlers once they hatch.  These sprays are supposed to be non-toxic to humans and animals. I recommend purchasing a spray bottle to attach to your hose like the one pictured below. You will want to label this and save it for future use with these products. The oil is not nice to try to clean and you will not want to re-use it with other sprays. Keep this bottle, just for use with the Horticultural oil.  So it is early May here in Saskatchewan.  The product recommends you apply it early in the day to allow time for it to dry on the tree and avoid the chance of it freezing. The goal with this product is to kill the scale insect. You want to kill them while they are in the crawler stage. I may have waited too long, this is a pretty nasty looking infestation that I have on this beautiful tree.  So we need to spray once in early spring to get rid of this white scale and once again 10 days later, so you can try to kill the crawlers once they hatch.  These sprays are supposed to be non-toxic to humans and animals.

 

 

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