Is your maple tree looking rather gloomy or showing signs of scale? If so, an insect called gloomy scale may be to blame for the less-than-spectacular appearance. However, gloomy scales may prove challenging to detect on red maples, as they hardly move and share a similar color to the host’s bark.
As the most trusted tree arborist in Chester, PA, and surrounding areas, we discuss gloomy scale and answer the question: “Will gloomy scale kill my maple tree?” keep reading for more information.
What Is the Gloomy Scale?
Gloomy scales are armored scale insects that attach themselves to the host plant’s bark and suck out nutrients and water from the plant. You’ll find gloomy scales on red maples and other plants like elms, sweetgums, and tulip poplars.
Most infestations go unnoticed, with light infestations leading to minimal damage. Heavy infestations typically result in stunted growth, discolored leaves, branch dieback, and overall poor health.
At an advanced stage, treating gloomy scales may prove difficult because they have a protective covering that shields them from certain pesticides and predators. By the time you notice a heavy infestation, we recommend calling a certified arborist in West Chester, PA.
If you’re still wondering, “Will gloomy scale kill my maple tree?” The short answer is: It may kill your tree, but it probably won’t.
Most people probably won’t even notice they have a gloomy-scale-infested tree. However, the cost of managing or treating a gloomy scale infestation at advanced stages may exceed the tree’s value.
The Urbanization Effect
Urbanization and climate change impact the growth of gloomy scale insects. The overall rise in temperatures and dry conditions from urban warming can directly increase gloomy scale populations by creating conducive environments for them to grow and even survive winter temperatures.
While currently not a problem in forested areas, trends suggest that gloomy scale insects may become a problem in future forests as global warming continues.
You may employ biological, mechanical, or chemical control measures such as systemic insecticides to try to keep gloomy scales at bay. However, cultural practices tend to be the most environmentally-friendly approach to minimizing gloomy scale damage, especially on newly planted red maples.
Cultural control options include selecting less susceptible cultivars and providing proper plant care and maintenance that minimizes tree stress and promotes good tree health and establishment.
Contact Your Local Tree Health and Wellness Experts
If you notice something wrong with the trees and shrubs on your property, trust Rick’s PHC Certified Arborists for accurate and honest recommendations on tree care maintenance. Our tree doctors can properly identify, diagnose, and treat trees affected by insect attacks, disease, and environmental stress.
We proudly serve the needs of homeowners throughout West Chester, PA, and surrounding areas. Our tree care services include:
- Residential tree care
- Growth regulations
- Deep root feeding
- Soil injections
- Trunk injections