What is Magnolia Scale?
Magnolia Scale is a common insect/pest that’s fairly common in Wisconsin. Their females lay eggs on trees which then hatch and feed on the tree’s circulatory system causing damage by sucking out the tree’s sap and depriving it of the nutrients it needs to survive. They can cause a great deal of damage to their ‘hosts,’ including stunting growth, killing off branches or in the worst cases – killing the entire tree.
What does Magnolia Scale look like?
Magnolia leaves turn black from a sooty mold that grows on the clear sticky liquid that the insects secrete. Wasps, bees, and ants are attracted to the plant to feed on the secretions.
Scale insects are most noticeable in late spring and summer when they appear as whitish lumps up to 1/2-inch long along the branches. In severe infestations, entire branches may be coated with scale and have a chalky appearance.