Whilst pruning this quite vigorous Japanese flowering Apricot today, I came across this one solitary scale insect. I was quite concerned as these are one of the few tree species that will not tolerate systemics (others include some elms e.g. Hokkaido and Chojubai (Dwarf flowering Quince)).
Scale insects present as hard shells of approx. 2 to 4mm in length, with a cotton wool-like fluff underneath. They suck the juices from a tree and unchecked can do a lot of damage to a small tree in numbers.
I searched the rest of the tree and found only two more. They can be tricky to spot and do a great job blending into this bark.
When spotted, they are easily removed with tweezers, scissors, or the tip of some wire. Once the shell is removed, the vinegar on the cotton buds works great at removing the powdery / fluffy remains.
Pruned, cleaned, a little wire and back on the bench.
This tree is very much still a work in progress.
2 years ago I reduced it in height by almost a half, and am working on building branch density and ramification. P. mume are often seen with long straggly branches due their unwillingness to back bud. It is essential therefore to keep shoots in check and pruned before they get too long.
The tree is planted in a hand-signed Gyouzan & I have very high hopes for it!
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I will post some pictures and descriptions of how my trees are developing, and any new projects I'm starting.
Some of the blogs I follow with great interest! .. then my favourite ceramic artists!
My Favourite Ceramic Artists
Jose Antonio Guerao