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bay tree problem


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hawthorn
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: bay tree problem Reply with quote

I have a bay tree planted in a large pot now for some years, i have been taken it inside during the winter months. Its not been looking its best after its stint inside, and some of the leaves have brown scum on them. has anyone got an idea of what it is. the plant is about 5ft tall and i would hate for it to die.


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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what that is - but why don't you plant your tree outside? I bought a little one in Dunne's years ago and planted it outside. It didn't grow an inch for about three years, but then it took off. It's about six feet hign now and increasing alarmingly.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a smut or sooty mould which forms after honeydew dripped from sap sucking insects.
See this earlier thread for a solution hawthorn.... Camelias covered in a black sooty deposit.

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hawthorn
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update on the bay tree. See photo of underside of bay leaf, look as if there is something living there.


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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clean off the leaves with a cotton bud dipped in methylated spirits....can't remember what exactly those little creatures are, but the meths works.
And I agree with Sean....plant it outside, and I'm sure it will be better off.
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scale insect.
Get a bottle of Isopropyl alcohol from your chemist, much safer than meths but be careful, as the alcohol evaporates it can cause severe chilling, mix it 50% water, in a hand sprayer and spray top and underside of leaves. The insect hides under the scale sucking on the sap. It's impervious to most things except alcohol. After spraying, use cotton or kitchen towel to wipe off the scales, all those white things are young scale insect.
Once you've got rid of the scale, spray regularly to kill any young insects which haven't started forming their scale/shell. You can use a systemic insecticide, but I'm assuming you want to stay away from chemicals, but I've found very few insecticides capable of dealing with scale.
Don't use the alcohol on a cool windy day/evening, this speeds up the evaporation and causes worse chilling. Check all plants in the vicinity to make sure they are infected.
Bill.

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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear, is there something dangerous about meths, Liparis ? I have a small bottle of it in a cupboard. I only ever used it once or twice on a house plant years ago. Should I dispose of it?
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I wouldn't say dangerous, I used the wrong word which should have been, better, I used the term safer in that it's more certain. Sorry for the mislead Embarassed The alcohol gets through the scale much easier and quicker. Meths is probably cheaper, but alcohol does a better job, it kills them as well. meths isn't as pure as it used to be, it's full of additives nowadays to stop people drinking it, pure meths would be great if you can get it, but it's costlier again and you need to be licenced to get it.
Bill.

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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaaaah, OK so !!! I'm not good on the old chemistry, it was just a tip I got from a friend, to use meths on houseplants, I didn't know much about it.
Am I imagining it, or was meths used in little camping stoves in the fifties, to boil a kettle on a picnic? The smell reminds me of shivering on a beach somewhere, while waiting for a cup of tea to warm me up!
I've probably got it wrong....
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything you ever needed to know about scale insects and their removal....... Scale insect - Coccoidea - Coccus hesperidum - Satissetia.
The pics are a bit much...... hope you haven't just eaten. Laughing

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Liparis
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
Am I imagining it, or was meths used in little camping stoves in the fifties, to boil a kettle on a picnic?

It certainly was, Sive, you filled the tank with meths and pumped it up to get the meths under pressure, then primed a little dish around the burner by pouring in a little meths, then with enough pressure in the fuel tank you lit the primer meths and slowly opened up the valve to ignite the burner. Oooh! I can still smell it yet Laughing
Bill.

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hawthorn
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WoW, Thanks everyone for all the replies, its good to see a thriving community working at its best, and its good to see how the solutions to my problem are delivered, the modern way via "YOUTUBE video", and the old way via "TIPS from friends". Its also nice to see replies from people who have replied to my problems and queries in the past, HI to the boss GPI, and hi to Sive. Hope we can all help each other this season. Irishgardeners.com working at its best...!!
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Garlicbreath
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as a postscript to the camping theme Laughing I have a little meths stove I bought in ....wait for it.... Lidl last year. It doesn't need to be primed but it's exceedingly slow. I used to have one like that described above but it ran on petrol Shocked That one worked a treat!!
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know what age you are, garlicbreath, but for me, remembering being a child in the fifties, the smell of those meths stoves instantly transports me back to the dubious joys of swimming in the Irish sea in the "summer".Wow, but it was so cold. Do you have camping stove memories?
Chattering teeth, sand in the sandwiches, the distinctive smell of those rubber swimming caps we wore and the taste of salt off our skin......those are my memories!
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Garlicbreath
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Sive. I'm not old enough to remember the 50s but the Irish Sea was no warmer in the 70s (except '76 which was quite exceptional!). My camping memories only start 15 years ago as I only started camping then. I really regret not having done it as a child but that wasn't my choice unfortunately. I'm trying to introduce my nephews to the delights of campfires and burnt sausages with very little success so far!
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