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Texas Gardening: Crepe Myrtle Leaves Turning Black!

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Forum: Texas GardeningReplies: 24, Views: 135
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 29, 2012
10:00 PM

Post #9223201

My 6 yr old crepe myrtle's leaves are turning Black. Upon close inspection, the leaves are covered with aphids, and the bark is beginning to peel.

What should I do to save my tree? It's about 9-11 ft tall , so I can get into the branches to spray it if advised.

Thanks!

Linda

frostweed

frostweed
Josephine, Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 30, 2012
5:07 AM

Post #9223314

The bark peeling is probably normal, you could spray with diluted soap for the aphids from a hose sprayer, or just keep it watered and wait.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

July 30, 2012
5:16 AM

Post #9223319

Not very often but at times I do encounter an Aphid that the Dish soap wont kill just be careful what dish soap you use >>the foamier the better I say

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2012
8:45 AM

Post #9223529

Thanks guys!

My REAL concern is that this tree sits about 6 ft. from my RB #1, and I didn't want any aphids jumping off onto my bell peppers. The tree will be moved soon, closer to the entry gate.

I use Lemon Ajax Detergent in the garden. Should I add a couple caps of Murphy's Oil Soap as well?

Thanks!

Linda

frostweed

frostweed
Josephine, Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 30, 2012
10:56 AM

Post #9223708

I don't think oil is good in warm weather, is the tree potted? if not, this wouldn't be a good time to move it, best to wait till fall.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2012
12:00 PM

Post #9223759

Thanks Frostweed, I didn't consider the heat.

The small tree has been in the ground since 2005. It is just starting to turn into a real "tree"...

I won't move it before the weather cools off, if I can save it. You think I could use my MG fertilizer hose end sprayer for the dish soap? The one you put the blue stuff in?

Thanks.

frostweed

frostweed
Josephine, Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 30, 2012
12:49 PM

Post #9223814

Yes, I think you can use the sprayer, but do it in the late afternoon when the sun is not shining on it, and rinse it off early in the morning before before the sun hits it.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2012
2:33 PM

Post #9223908

Thanks!
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2012
3:19 PM

Post #9223953

GG, I would not worry too much about your tree. Crepe myrtles are extremely hardy. Aphids are particularly prevalent this year. If it.were me in your shoes, I would not move the tree due to aphids. It probably wont protect your tomatoes from aphids and it will set your tree back.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

July 30, 2012
5:11 PM

Post #9224076

Aphids come and Aphids go I personally have never had any harm any of my peppers uh just saying don't worry too much and the Ajax is exactly what I use in a MG hose end sprayer

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2012
6:22 PM

Post #9224180

Thanks all!

Steadycam, the tree was placed in my yard before the veggie garden, and will be moved to a new permanent location to give me more growing space.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 30, 2012
8:26 PM

Post #9224340

Crepe Myrtles are also prone to powdery mildew. That could be some of what you're seeing.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2012
9:12 PM

Post #9224398

Don't think its powdery mildew. I'm also seeing spider webs, so add spider mites to the list of possibilities.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 31, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9224874

Spray it with a solution of soap, liquid molasses, and liquid seaweed (1 oz each in a gallon of water). Do this weekly.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

July 31, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9224973

Fyi The Crepe Myrtle is going to be a handful to move the roots spred out in a horizontal way so you are going to need lots of help ..About the sprayer I put one of those brass nozzles on mine the kind that comes to a small opening and that lets me spray to the top of any of my fruit trees,,Good Luck on the Aphids

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 31, 2012
1:10 PM

Post #9225034

Thanks, guys!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 31, 2012
6:00 PM

Post #9225401

I have a few crepe myrtles I'd like to kill...
grits74571
Talihina, OK

August 1, 2012
7:12 AM

Post #9225806

In a garden project that I am doing for the city (as a volunteer ) we had 4 crepes to deal with and the day we started work on the project it rained so getting a backhoe was out of the question so we just pruned them severely and they came back quiockly but made nice small shrubs and are now blooming happily adding an accidental bright red border...just saying that they can be managed just like any flowering plant ...BTW we cut the to ground level

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 1, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9226240

I would like to cut them out at the root level...

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 1, 2012
2:40 PM

Post #9226263

Steph,
Do you have a hot pink crepe myrtle in that burn pile? I might just need to come get it if mine doesn't make the move.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 1, 2012
9:58 PM

Post #9226698

Nope. The neighbor's have one though.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

August 2, 2012
6:41 AM

Post #9226899

stephj maybe just cut to the ground and cover with black plastic i am using that on some yellow nut sedge and a couple of other undesirables Let the sun do the work just a thought

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 2, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #9226979

I might try that. I'm also thinking of cutting it, drilling holes in the trunk and filling them with molasses or vinegar.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

August 2, 2012
3:13 PM

Post #9227411

I do pretty much the same thing with the Black Locust it is the worst weed/tree here on my small city lot any time that you dig for any reason you will encounter tree roots and most will be the Black Locust and any root that is cut will produce a new tree and will grow 12 or more feet in a year I cut them off and drill a hole down into the stump and fill with something a little more toxic than venegar..
Garden_Sass
Central, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 9, 2012
4:54 AM

Post #9235298

We're undergoing an Aphid invasion around Austin, especially the Pecan trees followed by Crape Myrtles; folks are complaining about falling leaves sticking to their shoes and sticky gunk covering cars, sidewalks and house siding.

Concerned homeowners with large Pecan trees are coughing up $700+ per tree to get them "sprayed"! In close quarters I'd be concerned about spray drift carrying chemical insecticide into my yard and onto vegetables and herbs in my garden!

Wizzie Brown (Travis County Agri-Life Extension Entomologist) suggest least toxic action first: concentrated water spray (mite blaster wand), insecticidal soap sprayed late in the afternoon (soap burns leaves in heat), Neem spray from concentrate - NOT Neem oil. All this has to be directed to the underside of the leaf and repeated to be effective but does nothing for the honeydew coating leaves, and then there's the problem of foliage being out of reach.

Although the Aphids are causing havoc now, their population will crash at some point - and - using chemical sprays may knock them down only to have the population rebound.

If natural populations of predictors were in balance we probably wouldn't notice the Aphids at all!

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