Discoloring of leaves o... #177892 - Ask Extension


Discoloring of leaves o... #177892

Asked April 28, 2014, 5:57 PM EDT

Discoloring of leaves on holly tree. Tree is approximately 10 years old. Discoloring has occored within the past year. Last year tree was invanded by a large population of what appeared to be carpenter bees.

Harford County Maryland

Expert Response

If the discoloration of the leaves of your holly tree occurred over winter, it could be winter scorch.  This is a common malady this spring.  If your tree is suffering from another disorder, it could be exacerbated by the winter cold.
The appearance of carpenter bees or other bees around the tree last year could have been the result of scale insects on the tree.  Soft scale, such as Cottony Camelia scale insects will attack holly trees and soft scale produce a waste product known as honeydew.  This sweet, sticky material will attract insects that want the sweet, sugary honeydew.  This material will also promote the appearance of a mold known as 'sooty mold'.  This black material does not itself threaten the health of the tree and will wash off eventually.  But, it is important that you monitor your tree for scale activity.   Look on the underside of leaves in June for the appearance of young 'crawlers'.  Call our toll free number (below) for treatment alternatives.

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