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Crepe Myrtle Leaves Turning Black!

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

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

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Talihina, OK

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

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

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

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

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

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.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

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

Thanks!

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

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.

Talihina, OK

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

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

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.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

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

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

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

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

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

Talihina, OK

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

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

Thanks, guys!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I have a few crepe myrtles I'd like to kill.....

Talihina, OK

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

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

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

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

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.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Nope. The neighbor's have one though.

Talihina, OK

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

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

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

Talihina, OK

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..

Central, TX(Zone 8b)

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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