Scale on Silver Maple tree leaves?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Karalyn, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Boise, Idaho USA
    I have been fighting scale on 3 existing 40 ft tall silver maple trees that were here when we bought our house. Two of them are along an irrigation pond and when extra water flows into this pond it then flows out and down a hill into the main creek that supplies more irrigation water to farmers and neighborhoods. These canals do bring baby trout and sunfish, etc. along with the water.

    I have had them treated for scale on and off for several years and hate looking at the cottony white sticky stuff on the branches. I have been concerned about treating these trees as I don't want bad chemicals going down into the creek and also I have various fish ponds around my yard, and have had a few fish kill. So I then paid $100.00 for these guys to inject the scale killer into the trees. I don't think it made a difference and just wasted money on that deal.

    Then my husband bought some organic scale killer that has a fishy smell. Since in our business we use these powerful steam cleaners to degrease restaurant hoods and fans, my husband decided to put that in the powerwasher's tank and spray the trees ourselves. The stuff worked great and also was sprayed on all the shrubs and roses, etc. Now this isn't the most exciting task to do, especially when I didn't plant those trees and the roots are over taking places where I would like other plants and ornamental trees to grow.

    So I had two of them cut down by the irrigation pond, which my 21 year old son did, but it wasn't an easy task, but the area was free and clear for the tall tree to come crashing down. We have one other tree but it won't be as easy and I think my sons lost interest on tackling this one.

    It is in the worst place and it over hangs over one of my fish tanks, a playhouse treehouse, and lilacs, roses, clematis vines, ground covers, etc. The sticky residue drips onto these plants as well as anything under it. Also, wasps or hornets are attracted to the scale and are abundant in that area and I have had my share of stings! The branches are already blackened from the scale and the leaves that fall have baby scale on them.

    So until I can get that one cut down and destroyed. I still get the leaves falling and blowing everywhere. I asked a county extension office about the scale on the leaves and was suggested that I just burn them.

    Well, like I said I don't have control of where these leaves go. But I thought that the scale on the leaves would die off since they would no longer get any nourishment from the dead leaves. The county guys didn't know the answer to that question, and did suggest the burning.

    I hate burning leaves and if the leaves could be used for a compost pile, would it be safe?

    Eventually, I will be able to get my sons to start cutting down some limbs, without risking their lives. Even if the tree looks ugly for a short while. Then taking the roots and trunk out won't be easy either, but I understand from a garden person in the east you can kill locust and silver maples, by stripping the bark off and cutting into the tree trunk a few inches. Oh, and keep all leaves from growing to give back energy to the tree's roots.

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