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Wooly Aphids / Bagworms / Spider Mites / Scale

Brown Patch in Lawns / Anthracnose on Dogwoods

Azalea Lace Bug / Phytophthora Root Rot / Two-Lined Spittlebug

Hemlock Wooly Adelgids / Seiridium Canker on Leyland Cypress



Woodly Aphids

Wooly Aphids - Eriosoma

Wooly aphids are a common insect attacking a wide range of trees and shrubs. ? - EriosomaWooly aphids

are sucking insects that live on plant fluids, and produces a filamentous waxy white covering which resembles cotton or wool. The adults are winged and move to new locations where they lay egg masses. The larvae often form large cottony masses on twigs, probably for protection from predators.

The wooly apple aphid is a pest for fruit growers. Many of the numerous species of wooly aphids have only one host plant species. Wooly aphids can produce lots of honeydew that coats the lower leaves and anything else beneath their hose plant. Wooly aphids look much like other aphids except they are white and fuzzy like mealybugs.  Hy-Yield Kill-A-Bug or Fertilome Tree & Shrub Insect Drench which can either be used to control wooly aphids.

Woolly aphids generally have two hosts: a primary host on which they overwinter, and a secondary host on which they spend much of the summer. Most woolly aphids share a similar life cycle, although some details of the life cycle may vary among species. They usually overwinter as eggs laid in bark of their primary host. In spring, the eggs hatch into females which give birth without mating. Each female can produce hundreds of offspring, so populations can grow rapidly.

Wooly aphid on new growth blackberry, red objects unknown, possibly parasitic mitesAfter one or two generations on the primary host, winged females are produced, and they fly to secondary hosts. They remain on secondary hosts for the remainder of the summer, producing several generations of young aphids. In late summer or early fall, a different group of winged females flies back to a primary host where they give birth to tiny male and female aphids that mate. Gravid females deposit a single large egg (or eggs) into protected locations in the bark and then die. While woolly aphids generally have two hosts, many species can sustain themselves on their secondary host alone (see below).

Woolly aphids feed by inserting needle-like mouthparts into plant tissue and withdrawing sap. They feed on leaves, buds, twigs, and bark, but can also feed on the roots. Symptoms of feeding include twisted and curled leaves, yellowed foliage, poor plant growth, low plant vigor, and branch dieback. Physical injury may result when large numbers of woolly aphids attack young trees or unhealthy, stressed trees. Fortunately, severe woolly aphid infestations only occur periodically and are generally kept in check by natural enemies. In addition to the physical damage to the plant, accumulations of wax and shed skins are sometimes very conspicuous signs on the leaves, twigs, and bark.



Bagworms, Mature.jpg (15988 bytes)

Bagworms are a troublesome pest that focus their attack primarily to conifers such as Junipers, Arborvitae, Cypress, Hemlocks, Pine, Spruce, and other coniferous evergreens; however, bagworms are known to also infest a wide range of other landscapes shrubs and trees.

This pest hatches from eggs left in dormant sacks from the females from the previous year and hatch out in the spring to develop newly small caterpillar type pest that weave silken sacks as a housing structure and usually are surfaced from the needles from the shrub or tree host to assist in camouflaging from their predators. This technique make they hard to detect until they have not only gotten larger, but have already managed much damage to their host by eating large amount of foliage even to the point of stripping off large portions or entire amount of foliage on a tree or shrub.

The best form of control is early detection. I found my first infestation this year on one of my cypress shrubs at the very end of June. Walking by my shrub, I found large amount of small clustered sacks formed in a general area of my shrub. This picture will assist you in what I had seen during this early detection of small young develop bagworms. At this early stage, these small bagworms are only 1/2" to 3/4" long. Small quantities of bagworms can be manually pulled off and discarded.

Two other methods of control are utilizing insecticides, preferably systemic, especially where large numbers are existing, and by always making sure to pull off sacks by the end of the year since the females can lay 500 - 1,000 eggs in a single sack that will remain dormant on the shrub all winter and hatch out the next spring in May to early June.

For a safe organic method of control, spray with Bacillus thuringiensis, an organic control for caterpillars, in early spring. Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt) is a bacteria and is safe to use around children and pets.  Fertilome Bagworm Tent Catepillar Spray is one that we regularly advise and is also safe to the environment. There are also numerous chemical sprays available for the control of bagworms.

Evergreen of Johnson will help you select the proper insecticide to assist you with the control of bagworms when spraying method is chosen. Come in and let us help you select the appropriate insecticide. These insecticides can be applied by either  hose or pump sprayers.

Below are some links to help you gain more info on bagworms, their life cycle, and control methods.



Spider Mites:

Adult twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae.

Unlike the two above mentioned pest problems, spider mites are very difficult or to detect by injury include flecking, discoloration (bronzing) and scorching of leaves. Actually seeing the insect itself is limited or difficult. Detection of this pest is usually by knowledge of its common host plant and by the symptoms that spider mite damage provides. Spider mites infest the foliage of its host plant piercing the foliage to feed on its inner membrane and fluids. This causes weakening of broadleaf evergreens, coniferous evergreens, and other forms of perennials and annual flowers. Left unmanaged, spider mites can easily kill out single or large groups of plants.

Detection is difficult, but in bad infestations, a clean white sheet of paper can be held under expected infested foliage to shake the foliage to drop spider mites onto the paper. These will appear as small reddish dots on the white paper.

Foliage damaged by spider mite infestations will include flecking, discoloration (bronzing) and scorching of leaves. On broadleaf evergreens, a small dotted discoloration will occur causing the leaf to loose its darkness and natural coloration.

Females overwinter in soil or on foliage of their host and become active around May in the spring. Females will lay over 100 eggs each which will evolve thru a stage of growth cycles eventually reaching adults stages. A single generation can evolve anywhere from 5 to 20 days, so infestations can be quick and serious.

A technique called syringing can be also utilized as short tern control. Since rainy weather seems to knock off spider mites, using a forceful jet of water from a hose (syringing) can perform the same task. A regular syringing can keep spider mites under control on most ornamental plants in the landscape. This technique also helps conserve natural predators and increases the humidity, which in turn favors the needs of beneficial spider mite predators

This pest is not actually an insect, but is classified as an arachnids "spiders", therefore control by use of insecticide needs to be ones that are classified as miticides. Evergreen of Johnson City's trained professionals will help you to select the appropriate spray to ensure your successful control of spider mites in your garden. Below are some links to help you learn more about spider mites, their life cycle, and control options for your garden.

One of the pest control techniques that we find most effective is apply Fertilome Horticultural Oil Spray, Fertilome Triple Action with Neem Oil in early spring and follow up by spraying with systemic foliar insecticide such as Bonide Systemic Insect Control. Many common insecticides will not have any affect in controlling spider mites especially the commonly used Tree & Shrub insecticide drench often used in insect control.




Scale insects include a wide variety of types that can afflict many forms of plants both indoors and within our outdoor landscapes. Though scale is a problem on indoor plants as well, we'll focus more on the concerns of scale within our outdoor landscapes. Scale can be a serious pest causing serious damage to various trees, shrubs, and perennials and certainly be fatal if not treated or detected in time.

There are three categories of scale which are similar on their effect on plants, but also somewhat different in their control. These types of scale are soft scale, armored scale, and mealybugs. Of these three categories, Armored Scale and Soft Scale are by far the most serious on outdoor landscapes. Mealybugs are more common on indoor tropical houseplants. Different species of scale insects attach various kinds of fruits and ornamental plants of the country. They attach to branches, twigs, and the undersides of leaves, appearing as small bumps. Some are flattened and brown, while cottony cushion scale is thick, white, and covered with a waxy or woolly substance.

Leaves on infested plants turn yellow and the overall vigor of the plant declines. Severely infested plants may die within several seasons. Mature females feed, lay eggs, and raise families under their protective shells. Eggs hatch into crawlers that feed by sucking plant juices. This crawler stage is the most migratory stage of scale and is also the most venerable time for effective control. As they mature, crawlers produce a shell-like covering and loose their legs. There may be several generations per year.

The armored scales secrete a waxy covering over their bodies. This covering is not an integral part of the insect's body. Armored scale lives and feeds under this covering which resembles a plate of armor, hence the name. They vary in size from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch in diameter and can be almost any color, depending on the species. Armored scales may be circular, oval, oblong, thread-like, or even pear-shaped. The female's armor is larger than that of the male, while the shape and color may be similar or distinctly different, depending up the particular species.

Soft scales also secrete a waxy covering, but it is an integral part of their body. Soft scales vary widely in color, size, and shape. They range from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch in diameter and may be nearly flat to almost spherical in shape.

Scales are present year round. Scale species may overwinter in any life stage, but most overwinter as eggs or mated females which are the stages that best survive low winter temperatures. The egg stage and hatch of the crawlers are often correlated with the flush of new growth in the spring. However, each scale species has its own innate phrenology that varies with temperature and also may be affected by the plant host species. Populations build up throughout the spring and summer months until by the end of the season all the life stages are present together.

Due to the nature of scale's protective covering, control of scale is most effective during the crawler stage when the crawlers hatch from eggs and emerge from beneath the scale's waxy protective covering. These crawlers are migrating to locate soft tender stems and veins of plants as well as trunks varying on scale species. Often these are located on the undersides of leaves.

Horticultural oil sprays, such as Fertilome Horticultural Oil Spray, are very effective for the control of soft scale and on crawlers during the crawler stage. This oil spray can be used during both the dormant cool season as well as early spring when temperatures are below 75 degrees. Other forms of oil sprays, such a Fertilome Triple Action containing Neem Oil, can be used also used during the warmer periods of the year which have lesser temperature restrictions.

Two other forms of effective controls are Fertilome Tree & Shrub Insecticide Drench or Bonide's Systemic Insect Spray containing the active ingredient acephate. The commonly used and popular soil drench insecticides providing year long control are effective on soft scale, but do not provide effective control on armored scale. Armored scale are most effectively control by oil sprays or other insecticides during the crawler stage.

One easy method of identification is that Soft Scales - secrete a waxy film (up to 1/2 inch long) that is part of the body. In most cases, they are able to move short distances (but rarely do) and produce copious amounts of honeydew. Honeydew is a sticky, clear shiny substance on the leaf's surface and often is associated with a blackish appearance known as sooty mold. This is a secondary mold that grows on the sugary substance of the honeydew. Soft scale vary in shape from flat to almost spherical.

Armored (Hard) Scales - secrete a hard protective covering (1/8 inch long) over themselves, which is not attached to the body. The hard scale lives and feeds under this spherical armor and does not move about the plant. They do not secrete honeydew.

While soft scale are controlled by both oil sprays during both the dormant and active stages, armored "hard" scale are best controlled during their crawler stage or with a systemic insecticide drench or foliar insecticide spray.

Brown Patch Disease in Lawns


Brown Patch, Rhizoctonia solani, is a common lawn disease that is prevalent in lawn being managed to good standards. Unlike most lawn diseases, brown patch exists in conditions where high nitrogen levels are present, so lawns being fertilized regularly are prone to brown patch when other environmental conditions are also present.

Along with elevated nitrogen levels, high temperatures, high humidity, and high moisture levels are trigger points for brown patch infestations in fescue and blue grass lawns in our region. Though, fungicide treatments are available, the higher cost of these applications lead to cultural preventative treatment as the first option when available. Below are typical treatments to include both preventative measures through proactive lawn management tactics as well as preventative and curative treatments utilizing liquid and granular fungicides.

  • Decrease nitrogen levels meaning to decrease fertilizer applications

  • Maintain sharp mower blades - diseases spread more rapidly on frayed grass blades

  • Decrease irrigation system intervals especially during rainy weather periods

  • Eliminate irrigating at late evening or nighttimes.

  • Pick up or prevent excessive clippings on lawn

  • Shorten mower heights to 2.5" - 3" to improve air flower and drying habits of blades.

  • Apply fungicides by utilizing either granular fungicides or liquid fungicides

Click Here for a link to an additional article recently published summer of 2007 issue of Total Landscape Care.


Though fungicides are many times needed, utilize this as a last resort to treatment. When choosing to decrease fertilizer applications, consider apply Fast Acting Iron to lawns as a method of greening without the use of nitrogen.


Evergreen of Johnson City also offers two forms of fungicides that can be used for direct preventative or curative control of brown patch and other lawn diseases. Fertilome F-Stop granular fungicide is an easy effective granular fungicide that is simple to apply with a lawn spreader.

Also supplied by Evergreen of Johnson City is Fertilome Systemic Fungicide II which is a systemic action liquid fungicide that is wonderful for controlling a wide range of lawn diseases including brown patch.


 Below are website links that will allow you to review more information on Brown Patch, it's symptoms, favorable conditions, and control.



Anthracnose on Dogwoods


The lovely flowering dogwood, source of so much delight from its spring flowers to its autumn colors, has a lethal enemy - dogwood anthracnose. Caused by a fungus, Discula destructiva, dogwood anthracnose has devastated wild flowering dogwood populations in large areas of North America. The disease is relatively recent in origin, first noticed in 1978 with the fungus itself only identified in 1991. This and its subsequent rapid spread throughout much of the eastern half of the continent have led some scientists to suggest that it is not native to North America.

Anthracnose on Dogwood varieties usually occur during late spring when Infected bracts.higher temperatures are combined with frequent rainfall conditions. It's common for Anthracnose to be combined with Powdery Mildew which favors the same seasonal conditions. It's usually identified by light brown spots on leaves eventually growing into larger patches as the disease worsens. Anthracnose is a serious threat to the wild dogwood population since control measures are limited and uneconomical to manage. In home landscapes, fungicide sprays, such as Fertilome Systemic Fungicide containing Banner Max or Fertilome Lawn & Garden Fungicide.

These fungicides are to be diluted and applied to the foliage utilizing a hose end or pump sprayer. Control is difficult after serious infestation have occurred, so early detection and spraying is very critical to properly control this serious disease.

Below are a few links that will provide you more research on this troublesome Dogwood disease.


Phytophthora Root Rot


Phytophthora root rot, caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, is a serious, widespread and difficult to control disease affecting a wide range of plants. Plants susceptible to the disease include acuba, azalea, rhododendron, dogwood, Camellia japonica, Pieris, Taxus (yew), deodar cedar, mountain laurel, heather, juniper, high-bush blueberries, Fraser fir, white pine, shortleaf pine, leucothoe, and others. Boxwood is attacked by P. parasitica, a similar fungus.

The most common symptom is a slow general decline of the plant. New growth may be wilted, light green and stunted. The plant foliage becomes sparse or thin and eventually dies. Some plants die one branch at a time until the entire plant dies. The centers of the roots change from white to a reddish-brown color, and the outer layer of the roots will separate easily from the core.

Phytophthora Root Rot, Phytophthora cinnamomi  (Peronosporales: Pythiaceae)Phytophthora root rot is favored by high soil moisture and warm soil temperatures. The disease does not occur as frequently and may not be as severe on well-drained sandy soils as on clay or poorly drained soils. The disease is common and severe in areas where run-off water, e.g., rainwater from roofs, collects around plant roots. Shallow soils with underlying rock or hard pans, setting woody plants deeper than the soil level in the nursery or container, over-watering plants, flooding, or long periods of heavy rain also favor disease development.

The best form of treatment is preventative and cultural practices. Below are some tips and control measures. You'll see cultural procedures listed first with the last being a fungicide treatment option for control of phytophthora root rot.

  • Plant susceptible plant varieties in very well drained soils only.

  • Never position root balls lower than their normal planting height

  • Never place soil on the surface of root balls when planting

  • Utilize raised plantings as often as possible

  • Amend soil with soil amendments that promote good drainage

  • Raise soil areas that are low and tend to hold water draining poorly

  • Avoid excessive watering, especially during hot and rainy periods.

  • Where attempted plantings have failed and phytophthora root rot has been experienced, replaced with alternate less susceptible shrub varieties.

Here are some website links that will enable you to learn more about this disease, its symptoms, and control methods.


Azalea Lace Bug


Lace Bug is a very common problem among Azaleas within the landscape. It's almost assured that, if not controlled, most Azaleas will acquire some level of lace bug infestation.

The symptoms are discoloration of the foliage first starting off as small whitish dots caused by the piercing and sucking of the undersides of the foliage where the Lace bugs reside. Eventually the foliage of these common pest will nearly turn the foliage to a totally pale green to white coloration. Generally this is a stress factor that does affect the overall health and vigor of the Azaleas but mainly causes a very pool looking foliage condition and general appearnace.

The best form of control is either applying Fertilome Tree & Shrub Insecticide Drench once each spring from late March to early May and/or spray with a foliar insecticide when a quick knock down of an severe infestation is needed. We highly encourage preventative control using the tree & shrub insecticide drench which provides 1 year of insecticide control towards this and other various insect problems such as aphids, scale, etc. on Azaleas.


Two-Lined Spittlebug

The spittlebug derives its name from the white, frothy" spittle" the nymphs produce. Adults are large, blackTwo-lined Spittlebug - Prosapia bicincta Prosapia bicinctaleafhoppers about 1/3-inch long with two red stripes that go crosswise across the back. The eyes and abdomen are bright red. Though the nymphs resemble the adults, they are smaller and wingless. Color varies from yellow to white to orange but the eyes are always red.

Spittlebug nymphs suck plant juices like aphids, but they remove so much water and carbohydrates that excess fluid is produced. They cover themselves with this fluid and then produce the spittle by bubbling air from the tip of the abdomen into the liquid. The spittle mass helps protect the nymphs from drying and predators.

Spittlebugs normally do not achieve high enough populations to cause damage. If they do, forcefully hosing the plants several times may achieve the level of control needed. If not, a variety of common ornamental insecticides can be used such as Bonide Systemic Insect Control, or Fertilome Carbaryl.

Below are a few links that you can use to understand more about the two lined Spittlebug.


Hemlock Wooly Adelgids

FIGURE 1.—Hemlock woolly adelgid ovisacs. This serious pest is not only going to have a devastating  effect on our native hemlocks residing in our forest, but will also be affecting the many Canadian hemlocks within our landscapes which have always been a frequently used evergreen, especially during the 70,s, 80,s, and 90's. Many Canadian hemlocks exists within our landscapes today.

If not treated, Hemlocks within our region will almost certainly obtain an infestation of the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. An infestation allowed to remain will kill an Hemlock within 3-6 years or sooner. 

Most professionals and arborists are highly recommending a basal trunk injection or soil drench application. Foliar insecticide applications will require very regular applications and some feel that this type of application will simply not  be adequate to control this serious pest.  Due to hemlock wooly adelgid's heavy infestation on large sized hemlocks, heavy reproduction rate, and their natural ability to repel topically applied insecticides, basal trunk injection or soil drench applications are likely to be the only effective treatment to combat this problem.

Below is more information that we have provided to help you know more about this landscape pest.

General Information

     The hemlock woolly adelgid is a small (1/32 inch), reddish-purple, aphid-like insect that covers itself with a white, fluffy secretion. Some adults have two pairs of wings. Their mouthparts are thread-like and about 1/16 inch long and used to suck sap. Sucking sap from young twigs retards or prevents tree growth and causes needles to turn grayish-green, and drop prematurely. The loss of new shoots and needles is highly detrimental to a tree's health. A tree may defoliate and die within several years.

     Eggs are brownish-orange, but darken as the embryo matures. The eggs are also hidden within the white, fluffy secretion. When the eggs hatch, flat, naked, reddish-brown adelgid crawlers move about actively. Once the crawlers settle, they become black with a white fringe around the edge and down the center of the back. Young adelgids live on twigs or at the bases of old needles. They soon secrete a white, fluffy "wool" that completely covers their body. The wingless nymphs resemble adults but are smaller. Infested branches become covered with circular, fluffy, white blobs.


The hemlock woolly adelgid only survives on hemlock (Tsuga sp.). This is an extremely damaging pest of hemlock. This insect is thought to have been transported to North America from the Orient. It has been known in the Pacific Northwest since 1927. In recent years, hemlock woolly adelgid was found in the Northeastern US where it has become a severe pest. It was first reported in North Carolina in 1995. In 2005, surveys show that hemlock woolly adelgid is known to be in most of the counties where Tsuga sp. is endemic. Infested hemlocks become covered with dirty white globs of cottony puffs. Infested trees defoliate prematurely and may die eventually. Natural stands of hemlock are at greatest risk for death. Landscape plantings may need treatment if infested. Graphic showing the life cycle of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

The hemlock woolly adelgid overwinters as a female within the fluffy mass. Egg laying begins in February. Tiny crawlers hatch from the eggs and settle down to feed. Older nymphs secrete the fluffy, white "wool". Some nymphs develop into a winged form that leaves hemlock to lay eggs on an alternate host such as spruce. The remaining nymphs develop into wingless females that lay eggs in a fluffy mass on hemlock. Wind and animals disperse this insect. The second generation of adelgids on hemlock settle down as young nymphs in July to spend most of the summer as tiny black insects with a white fringe. In October or November, they molt, grow, and produce the fluffy white mass.



The hemlock woolly adelgid is a difficult insect to control because the fluffy white secretion protects its eggs from pesticides. A good time to attempt control it is in October when the second generation begins to develop. The insecticidal soaps and the horticultural oils seem to be very effective for adelgid control if caught within the early stages. Most professionals are recommending soil drench or basal trunk injection for a more effective control lasting 1 year or longer with a single treatment.  Trees that are heavily infested and are showing symptoms of decline should be treated immediately with a foliar systemic insect control, soil drench, or basal trunk injection. Horticultural spray oil can be applied during the winter and before new growth emerges in spring. Oil sprays may damage hemlock during the growing season, especially in dry weather. Registered pesticides containing imidacloprid may be useful for specimen trees located away from water sources. 

 Evergreen provides a soil drench insecticide with imidacloprid called Fertilome Tree & Shrub Insect Drench that can be used to apply a single soil drench application that provides one year of treatment against the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.

See the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Fact Sheet (.pdf) to learn about this threat, what land managers are doing to address it, and how you can help.

Below are links to other references on Hemlock Wooly Adelgids


Seiridium Canker on Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) has become increasingly popular as a landscape tree in North Carolina, especially for screens and hedges. Although relatively free of serious disease problems, several diseases are becoming more common. These include Seiridium and Botryosphaeria cankers, Cercospora needle blight, and Phytophthora and Annosus root rots.

Seiridium Canker

     Seiridium canker, caused by Seiridium unicorne, is probably the most damaging disease on Leyland cypress. Plants of all sizes and ages are affected. Cankers may form on stems, branches and in branch axils causing twig, branch or, at least on smaller plants, stem dieback. Cankers appear as sunken, dark brown or purplish patches on the bark, often accompanied by extensive resin flow. It should be noted that resin exudation often occurs from the branches and stems of otherwise healthy plants of Leyland cypress thus resin flow by itself is not a diagnostic characteristic for Seiridium canker. Scattered twigs or branches killed by the fungus turn bright reddish brown, and are in striking contrast to the dark green healthy foliage. Fruiting bodies of the fungus appear on the bark surface of the cankers as small circular black dots barely visible to the naked eye. Spores of the fungus are spread to other parts of an infected tree, or from tree to tree by water splash from rain or irrigation. The fungus also can be spread from tree to tree on pruning tools. Long distance spread appears to be through the transport of infected cuttings or plants. This disease is generally triggered by varying stress factorsl in the landscape but it's felt by most that drought is the main catalysts for triggering this canker disease problem in Leyland Cypress. Irrigating and increasing the overall vigor of the trees is recommended as one of the preventative measures.

Currently there are no chemical control measures recommended for the disease in the landscape or nursery. Avoiding water stress and tree wounding may reduce infection. Infected branches or twigs should be pruned and destroyed as soon as symptoms are noted. Prune at least one inch below the canker, and sterilize the pruning tools between cuts by dipping them in rubbing alcohol or in a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 9 parts water. Tools should be cleaned and oiled after using bleach to prevent rusting. Severely affected plants should be removed and destroyed.

References of this article provided by and credited too:

Other Links about Seiridium Canker on Leyland Cypress