Scale on key lime tree...

firesoforionFebruary 9, 2014

I recently discovered that my key lime tree had a SEVERE scale infestation (I think it's soft brown scale). It's caused lots of branch dieback, and leaves have dropped. I used a sponge and soft toothbrush in water to remove all the scale, and then sprayed it with horticultural oil a week ago.

Now, lots of scale has grown back, more branches have died back and I just pulled the last leaf off today (there were only two which looked healthy, and this one had a scale insect). What should I do? Has anyone had similar experiences?

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queensinfo

i am having a hard time with scale too. i used neem oil spray and a week or less later i am still seeing a bunch of them. i wouldn't call it severe but i am finding them on lots of different branches. I usualy scrape them off each night with my fingers but that keeps knocking leaves off.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 12:08PM
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firesoforion

Yeah mine is officially leafless now...I saw a recommendation somewhere else to use Bayer fruit, citrus and vegetable insect control. You water the plant with it and it poisons the little buggers. The plant obviously isn't looking particularly healthy (partially because it took me a long time to figure out what to do), but I haven't seen any scale return after I did that. Here's hoping for a full recovery for both our plants!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 2:15AM
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queensinfo

How long ago did you use it?
I am here (see below) and still dropping a leaf or so a day. Mine is a meyer lemon.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:00AM
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firesoforion

Well, as of now I used it about a week ago. I'm still experiencing branch dieback, though? I'm wondering if I used too much horticultural oil. I just don't know. Maybe it's just waiting for the warm weather where it can be outside. I'm also using a foliar (lol...) fertilizer (which is just dripping right off, ugh). I don't want to cause root rot, but part of me wants to give it a nice dose of fertilizer, too... (always open to suggestions)

Yours looks about like mine looked a week before I started treatment, though your remaining leaves are in better shape. I wish I'd done the Bayer when it was at that stage instead of piddling around with sponges, toothpicks, horticultural oil, soap, and rubbing alcohol.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 2:31PM
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firesoforion

And another update: Branches are still dying back, but today I sprayed for fungus (I see a reddish fungus on quite a bit of the bark). Here's hoping...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I use alcohol on the branches when I take them off. They do not return. I may go out and spray all my citrus with a mixture of detergent and alcohol.

We regularly use imacloprid in the form of Bayer Merit, as we were instructed to do by the Department of Agriculture when they found that evil Asian Citrus psyllid on one of our citrus trees, and there are huge commercial growers here. So we are not so organic. But the trees are better off, and the fruit is not any different, and we are not putting commercial growers at risk.

Scale should be easy to treat with a little isopropyl alcohol.

Suzi

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:41PM
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queensinfo

fires- just curious how you determined the dosage since it is not approved for container use? I treated the tree yesterday and went with the smallest dosing percentage in the table (carfeul not to incur any runoff.

Also, i am down to probably 10-15 leaves.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:37PM
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farm96744

I'm hypervigilant about my citrus because of a similar bad experience with a mail-ordered plant. Sad to say it would be tough to get them to bounce back after a severe infestation. Hard to let go; but sometimes starting over is best for sanity!

I inspect my citrus plants closely every day when I water them and pick off all scale and pests that I can see. We have an ant problem, and the ants are always trying to farm more aphids and scale.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:57AM
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