Q. Could you help me identify this insect to see if its harmful to my Pluot tree?
Hello, I just bought myself some fruit trees to grow outside. After planting the Pluot tree(Zed) one of the people helping me noticed that it had cocoons on it, at least what appeared to be cocoons. After some digging to see if the expected butterfly/moth would be harmful to the tree, I ran into a problem. I wasn’t able to identify the cocoon. I went to consult a friend of mine who seemed to be able to identify things like this to an extent. There I found out that it wasn’t what I thought it was. The shell in this case is very hard and triangular. I also noticed today after checking again that a couple of them are gone but left marks on the tree similar to the look of the shell in the picture attached. I’m pretty new to raising trees, so I don’t know if that is normal. I also noticed that there are 2 more shells then what I spotted last time including the ones that left. The tree is new as I gotten it last week from a nursery. Since I’m new to raising trees I don’t know what insects are good or bad for them along with what are some common pests, outside of what google is telling me. I’d appreciate any help I can get to make sure that my trees live a healthy life.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
In fact, this looks like a type of scale! This little insect can devastate trees. They drink the sap. You can get rid of these with a little persistence, though. First, you will want to scrape off as many as possible, and spray the whole tree with a mix of neem oil in water. This will take care of the issue in a natural manner. Just be careful and only apply this OUT of direct light, as it can amplify light. This might burn some more sensitive plants.
Here is a link to a collection of articles that will give you more ideas on how to create your own pesticides/fungicides/and general remedies: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/organic/