Mimosa tree problems #152110 - Ask Extension


Mimosa tree problems #152110

Asked September 10, 2013, 7:57 PM EDT

I have a few mimosa trees on our property near our pool deck. For the last two years there has been a black sticky residue on the deck and furniture. This year we have noticed what seems to look like dandruff flakes on our cars and other things. When rubbed is becomes sticky. Any of the the pool toys and furniture left on the deck have turned black also. Two yrs. ago we had them damaged because of the snow and several branches had to be cut. Could this have any bearing on the problem? I'm ready to cut them down because they have become so messy.

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania

Expert Response

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Your mimosa trees may be infected with a scale insect. Scale feeds on the sap it extracts from the Mimosa tree's branches, twigs, and leaves. In addition, grimy mold can flourish when the scale secretes a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew, as it extracts sap from the Mimosa.

You might want to carefully examine your trees to see if there are any signs of scale insects on the twigs or leaves.   If you do find some, you can contact the Master Gardener Hortline in Schuylkill County.  Hortline is a free service to Pennsylvania residents. Schuylkill County Master Gardeners staff a help line on Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 1pm from April through September.

Phone 570 622 4225 x23
Send email questions at any time to    schuylkillmg@psu.edu

Scale insects can be very difficult to control, and mimosa trees might not be the best plants to have around your pool. You may want to consider replacing them.   

David Orbin Replied September 12, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT

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