Fungus/nodule on Red Delicious Apple

peapod14March 24, 2014

hi there,

have a young (about 8ft tall 3-4yr old) red delicious tree/sapling. Its got all kinds of buds right now, looking good. But this morning we noticed on one of its limbs, and its only one limb (of about half a dozen) a series of dozens of little dark red mounds with blackish looking specks on them. In fact when we first saw it, we thought they were lady bugs. But upon prying one off, it turns out to be some sort of hollow moistish nodule that looks like its attached to the outside of the bark (the bark underneath was slightly discolored but not obviously broken). The external (red/spotted exterior is tougher). And another thing, ants seem to really like them/be interested in them. There are ants all over that one limb, and climbing all over the nodules. Nowhere else. Does anyone know what these things are? Should I manually remove?

thx.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That would be some kind of scale. Yes you can scrape them off. Treating with dormant oil and possibly an insecticide would be easier. You may be past dormant oil spray time but could still apply an all season oil.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:54PM
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peapod14

Thanks a lot! Have removed all of them.

One question if I may: these things had no visible means of locomotion. No legs or wings I could see, in fact did not even seem to have a defensive reflex when flicked off onto the plate. How do they move? Specifically how did they get all clustered up on a branch 4-7ft off the ground, without any evidence of them anywhere else on the tree (or elsewhere in the garden that I could find -- checked all the fruit trees). Certainly did not have wings. Could I create a barrier on the trunk and prevent them from ever crawling up? Or do they hitch a ride with flying insects or birds or some such.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:51PM
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peapod14

apologies for the last question -- looked up their life cycle and have a better understanding now. Hopefully can avoid any further problems. Thx again for the quick ID.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 8:04PM
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