Ask Doug: Serviceberry problems, perennial hibiscus and are tomatoes edible after groundhog damage?
Marlene-Hi Doug. My ‘Shadblow’ serviceberry is inundated with small black seed looking creatures under the leaves. The top of the leaves looks a bit scorched. I tried a systemic drench a couple weeks but not much change. What say you?
After looking at the photo, I wasn’t sure what the problem was, so I reached out to Dick Till from the Davey Tree Expert Company. He knew right away the problem was lace bugs.
Doug says– They can easily be treated with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Just spray it on the pests, undersides of the leaves ect. It will take a few applications over as many weeks. It also shows us the tree is stressed. I would want to be sure it’s getting enough water and would fertilize it in the spring with Treetone from Espoma.
Catherine wonders– Do hibiscus drop their flowers quickly after bloom? This is my 1st year growing one.
Doug says– Yes, they don’t last long, especially when it’s hot. But hopefully you have lots of buds.
Carol asks about a tomato damaged by a pest- When they take one bite, is it safe to cut that part away and eat rest? Cannot find answer online. Thanks.
Doug says- I wouldn’t, hate to throw away a good tomato, but there are too many variables in eating something that a wild animal has chewed on.
Maybe Hot Pepper Wax will keep them off the tomatoes?
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