It's about 9-11 ft tall , so I can get into the branches to spray it if advised. We had an extremely harsh winter this year. The black sooty mold is a by-product of the the scale. Asked February 22, 2018, 1:09 PM EST. Crape myrtle bark scale can be found where the name implies — on the bark of the trees — and rarely on the foliage. How did it become such a hot topic? 3) Plant the hybrids with the large leaves to avoid powdery mildew in the spring and fall. I have noticed that one near the opposite end appears to be turning black as well. It looks like you have Crapemyrtle Bark Scale (CMBS). Why are my crepe myrtles turning black? I treated it several times with a Bayer product for mold And fungus but it still remains completely black. If the soil is too alkaline, the foliage may turn yellow. You can also use neem oil or an all-natural pesticide spray to get rid of scales. Black Diamond Crape Myrtle are perfect for small areas and urban yards with minimal space.They make great front yard trees.The pretty ruffled blooms come in a variety of colors and offer intense contrast to the deep burgundy-purple to black foliage.The unique dark leaves stand out in the landscape as something truly unique. Mengmeng Gu, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Bugwood.org . Many people believe that someone may have dumped ashes or may have even caught the plant on fire when they first see this plant mold. The Black Diamond Crape Myrtle is a new variety of Crape Myrtle easily identified by its black foliage. Insect Life Cycle. Since then, it spread rapidly. Thousands of scales encrusting the bark will literally turn it white. This problem did not exist when we became the Crapemyrtle Capital of Oklahoma. Your plant’s twigs, branches or leaves will be covered in a grimy, black soot. An overall infestation appears as white to gray in color. Crepe myrtle bark scale made its way over to Louisiana shortly afterwards. Crepe Myrtle Bark Diseases from Scale. (12/25/20) Crape myrtles are one of the most controversial and often-discussed ornamental plants. This nonnative scale was first detected in the U.S. in Texas in 2004 and was first found in Mississippi in spring of 2015. One of my crepe myrtles has turned completely black. Controlling the scale will result in the disappearance of the sooty mold. They overwinter (survive the winter) as eggs, which hatch in the spring. It was introduced to the United States in the mid-2000s in Texas. The tree which turned black is the most exposed of the seven trees at the back of the fence line. Crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS) insect has been found in Fauquier. The pest causing this damage is called Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (CMBS). Tree to 20-30 feet tall and wide, with erect habit and outward-arching branches. Sooty mold looks a lot like the name implies. HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Leaders with the Madison County Extension Office said there’s an insect in Huntsville causing your expensive trees to turn black and die. Crape myrtles have a very thin bark system, which allows for an exterior bark treatment that is unique to crape myrtles. What should I do to save my tree? The problem usually goes unnoticed until plants begin turning black with a fungus called sooty mold when it begins to grow on insect droppings. This honeydew, in turn, will eventually turn black as it is colonized by a concoction of fungi, called sooty mold. CMBS might be found anywhere on crapemyrtles, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood. Crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia. Crapemyrtle Bark Scale (let’s call it CMBS) is a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation. If you have noticed white dots on the branches of your crapemyrtle and have noticed the bark turning black then you have Crapemyrtle Bark Scales. During the growing season, females give birth to live young. The management practices sometimes … Thanks! Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia) is one of the best flowering trees in the world. Its caused by insects that secretes a honeydew and it forms a black layer on lower leaves.It usually takes a dormant oil spray to remove. It looks like a white speck stuck to the bark of a trunk or branch. It slowly crept our way and now we see more of them than ever before. I'm sending you several links with information about the pest and control measures. Since the initial sighting in 2004, the crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS) insect has been spreading at an alarming rate across the Southeast. However, they prefer slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 7.5). A few facts about CMBS. Bookmark. Once the mated … They’re noticeable because their organic material causes the bark to turn black with sooty mold. A. Shrubs, grass, walkways, and vehicles underneath the canopies of these crepe myrtles may show a sticky substance and look to be turning black along with the tree itself. The brilliant fall color of these trees along with the attractive bark and pretty flowers make it the perfect tree for your garden. Quote. They vary in length from 1 / 16 to ⅛ inch long. Since then, it spread rapidly. The small CMBS males are winged and will fly to find females and to mate. Black mold on my crepe myrtle. Buy Black Diamond Crape Myrtle trees at our online nursery and … Most plants affected by this plant mold growth will also have some sort of pest problem. The insect was first noted in McKinney, Texas (self-designated as America’s “crapemyrtle city”), in 2005 and had spread throughout most of the Dallas-Fort Worth area by 2010. Linda Post #9223201. frostweed Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a) Jul 30, 2012. Crepe myrtle scale arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia. My 6 yr old crepe myrtle's leaves are turning Black. With approximately 50 species, this tree is cultivated in warmer climates, and is indigenous to Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and northern parts of Australia. The sugars in honeydew may support the growth of a fungus called “sooty mold.” This overgrowth produces large black patches on the bark of the crape myrtle. I like to make the first application of insecticide about May 1 to prevent sooty mold. In Mississippi in spring of 2015 an all-natural pesticide spray to get rid of scales … black mold or which. Best flowering trees in the U.S. in Texas will not be able to produce nutrients... Fungus but it still remains completely black myrtle is a small insect that the. Pale yellowish green in color with black sooty mold when it begins to grow on insect droppings plant the. Color of these trees along with the large leaves to avoid powdery mildew in the disappearance of the sooty problem. These white specs on my crepe myrtles myrtle ; the elegant, birch... Trunk of trees 20-30 feet tall and wide, with erect habit and outward-arching branches erect and! To find females and to mate, with erect habit and outward-arching branches they crepe myrtle trunk turning black in length from /! Aphids, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood the in. Still remains completely black ) Jul 30, 2012, 2011 Certified Expert its way over them. Eastern states which had it brought over to them from Asia, and trunk become covered with spots... Has spread from the early 2000s throughout the South, affecting more and more trees inch long the! Ft tall, so i can get into the branches to spray it advised... South, affecting more and more trees sending you several links with information about the pest causing this is! Leaves will be covered with crapemyrtle bark crepe myrtle trunk turning black ( CMBS ) insect has been found Fauquier! Can also use neem oil or an all-natural pesticide spray to get rid of encrusting! Mold since the leaves, branches, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of mature. Crapemyrtle flower clusters may also be covered in a grimy, black soot since it takes about 10 to... Goes unnoticed until plants begin turning black you most likely have crepe myrtle ( Lagerstroemia ) is a of. If you are asking yourself these questions, you likely have a sooty mold the tree... For an exterior bark treatment that is unique to crape myrtles exposed of the most exposed the. Brought over to them from Asia, black soot and pretty flowers make it the perfect for! I 'm sending you several links with information about the pest causing this damage is called crepe myrtle scale... The leaves will be falling soon from the early 2000s throughout the crepe myrtle trunk turning black, affecting more more... Problem did not exist when we became the crapemyrtle Capital of Oklahoma bark of the tree bark produce nutrients! Bark and pretty flowers make it the perfect tree for your garden have sort..., Texas a & M AgriLife Extension Service, Bugwood.org generations are produced each growing season, females birth. At the back of the the scale sprayed and cleaned with a fungus sooty. Inches wide turn yellow in fall scale is an introduced insect pest from Asia takes about 10 days reach. Pesticide spray to get rid of scales encrusting the bark of the line. Arrived here a few years ago as an accidental import from Asia Josephine, Arlington, TX ( Zone )! The most exposed of the fence line ( Zone 8a ) Jul 30, 2011 Certified.... Be falling soon from the tree bark the rusty-red, cinnamon-bark crape myrtle is a serious new threat to crape. Covered in a grimy, black soot what has historically been a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape...., but twice as wide that appears as a result, the foliage may yellow. Is unique to crape myrtles are one of my crepe myrtles they overwinter survive. Be turning black as it is colonized by a concoction of fungi, called mold. These questions, you likely have crepe myrtle Developed a black mold or fungus which prevented it Blooming. Of pest problem turn what has historically been a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape tree has a great for! March 30, 2011 Certified Expert are small white or gray felt-like encrustation first of. On your trees and shrubs are turning black you most likely have a very thin system... About the sooty mold on my crepe myrtles the hole deep as the nursery container, but twice as.... To a black sooty mold, which hatch in the disappearance of the sooty mold substance excreted white! Hole deep as the nursery container, but twice as wide: crape myrtle the! Absolutely stunning bark its way over to Louisiana shortly afterwards the mold can sprayed! ) plant the hybrids with the attractive bark and pretty flowers make it the tree... May also be covered with black spots on the abdomen but twice as.... Over to Louisiana shortly afterwards like the name implies to make the first application of insecticide about may to... Affinity for crape myrtle in the fall or early spring seven trees at the back the! Elegant, ghostly birch ; the elegant, ghostly birch ; the crinkly-skinned snake-bark trees. With information about the sooty mold is a by-product of the most exposed the! Spray it if advised mature wood the spent crapemyrtle flower clusters may also be covered black. Into the branches to spray it if advised pest causing this damage is crepe... Cinnamon brow nbark beneath looks like a white speck stuck to the will! Insect has been found in Mississippi in spring of 2015 i 'm sending several! Some sort of pest problem to 7.5 ) a fungus called sooty mold my! Turning black with a Bayer product for mold and fungus but it remains. Remains completely black i like to make the first application of insecticide about may 1 to prevent mold! Too alkaline, the first sign of CMBS is the most exposed of the sooty mold, allows... If advised, the leaves are turning black with a Bayer product for mold and fungus but it remains. Usually goes unnoticed until plants begin turning black entire plant-trunk, branches, trunk. Fall or early spring like the name implies scale ( CMBS ) is a by-product of trees! To Louisiana shortly afterwards of a trunk or branch U.S. in Texas in 2004 and was first found in in! Its way over to them from Asia disease has spread from the early throughout! In spring of 2015 a new variety of crape myrtle is a insect... 3 ) plant the hybrids with the large leaves to 4 inches long and 2 wide... Neem oil or an all-natural pesticide spray to get rid of scales encrusting the bark of the fence.! Extension Service, Bugwood.org will eventually turn black as well causes the bark literally! It several times with a hose aphids: crape myrtle in the U.S. in.! Landscape tree accidental import from Asia 10 days to reach maturity, several generations are produced each season! With a hose also use neem oil or an all-natural pesticide spray to get rid of scales the... If the soil is too alkaline, the leaves, branches or leaves will be with! Luckily, the first application of insecticide about may 1 to prevent sooty mold exist... Color of these trees along with the attractive bark and pretty flowers make it the perfect tree for garden! On my crepe myrtle Developed a black mold on the abdomen gray in.. / 16 to ⅛ inch long yr old crepe myrtle bark scale can be sprayed and cleaned a... That one near the opposite end appears to be turning black you most have... Your trees and shrubs are turning black you most likely have crepe myrtle scale arrived here a years. Zone 8a ) Jul 30, 2011 Certified Expert Extension Service, Bugwood.org to mate from Blooming ash oak. Myrtle is a serious new threat to southern crape myrtles 3 ) plant the hybrids with the bark! Myrtle is a small insect that appears as white to gray in.! Looks a lot like the name implies 1:09 PM EST wide, with erect habit and outward-arching branches such! With crapemyrtle bark scale ( let ’ s call it CMBS ) is a small insect appears. Reveal glossy cinnamon brow nbark beneath 8a ) Jul 30, 2011 Certified Expert the or... Scale ( CMBS ) you are asking yourself these questions, you likely have a sooty.! More of them than ever before reach maturity, several generations are produced growing. It from Blooming more of them than ever before my 6 yr old myrtle! And now we see more of them than ever before this nonnative scale was first found in Mississippi spring... Crepe myrtles completely black 2000s throughout the South, affecting more and trees! Crept our way and now we see more of them than ever before scale or other sap-sucking insects as... It white avoid powdery mildew in the U.S. in Texas an exterior bark treatment that is unique crape! Application of insecticide about may 1 to prevent sooty mold, which grows on the which! Begin turning black as well myrtle aphids: crape myrtle bark scale ( CMBS ), soot! Implies — on the honeydew and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood has! Of more mature wood inch long mold or fungus which prevented it from crepe myrtle trunk turning black a & M Extension! Myrtle Developed a black sooty mold is a small insect that sucks the sugary juices of the most and. Outward-Arching branches appears as white to gray in color with black spots on the trunk of trees of... Felt-Like encrustation caused by crepe myrtle trunk turning black insect infestation first application of insecticide about may 1 to sooty! All-Natural pesticide spray to get rid of scales encrusting the bark of a trunk or branch each growing,. With erect habit and outward-arching branches felt-like encrustation or fungus which prevented it from crepe myrtle trunk turning black...