As a homeowner, it’s important to take care of the interior of your home, as well as the exterior. One area that often gets overlooked is the trees in the yard. If you notice leaves covered in a black, sooty mold, you likely have an insect problem. Black sooty mold is an issue for many homeowners because it can stunt tree growth, weaken branches, and cause premature leaf fall, which can create a huge mess in your yard. Keil Tree Experts, a tree service in Lutherville MD, Towson, Baltimore and beyond, explains how to treat this condition.

How to Identify a Black Sooty Mold Problem

Black sooty mold develops on a tree when scale insects cling to it and lay their eggs. The insects produce a sugary substance that develops into the mold. Trees affected by scale insects display a shellac look on them and under them. The leaves and limbs may have a blackened appearance and the appearance of scales on it. The sweet substance will also attract bees, wasps and ants.

Treatment of Black Sooty Mold

A professional tree service needs to apply a horticultural spray to eliminate the problem. The spray must be applied properly, but it is safe for use around pets and children. It may take a few days before you see results from the spray. It’s best to have the spray applied during the warm summer months as this is the time when the insects move because their eggs will be hatching. The insects stay in place throughout other times of the year.

Prevent a Re-infestation

Dormant oil sprays can be applied during the winter months to kill any scale insects that are left on the tree as well as their eggs and larva. Once applied, the likelihood of a re-infestation will be greatly diminished.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can simply trim off limbs that are affected by scale insects. Just because you don’t see mold or insects on the tree yet doesn’t mean that they aren’t located on other areas of the tree. It’s best to contact Keil Tree Experts for a free estimate. A technician can identify if you do have a scale insect problem and develop a treatment plan that will work for you.  Click here to contact us for professional tree service in Lutherville MD and Baltimore County.