Magnolia Trees & Sap-Sucking Scales

magnolia-scale-close-up_tn lawnsavers yard care company gtaLooking for help with your magnolia tree care?  If you live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), please contact us.

Magnolias are always recognized as the harbinger of spring.  Their flowers are grandiose and magnificent.  Magnolia Scale threatens these trees and is one of the stranger and hardest to kill insects you’ll see.  Becoming noticeable at the end of June and all through July, it is normally only recognized once the tree is infested.  Tree scale insects cover themselves in a whitish dome for protection, so it is often mistaken for a fungus or other growth – but this tree scale is actually an insect. The scales look a lot like the puffs on a pussy willow, with a waxy fuzzy appearance. Magnolia tree bugs that cause scale are a serious concern – if left unchecked this scale will weaken and eventually kill the tree. At Lawnsavers, your top choice for lawn and tree health, we have been seeing them more often in the last few years, and it only seems to be getting worse.

How Do Magnolia Tree Bugs Cause Scale And Hurt Trees?

These tree scale insects drink the sap from the tree, robbing it of nutrients. Then, adding insult to injury, they excrete a waste product called honeydew. Honeydew is a clear, sugary, sticky fluid. the honeydew drips from the tree and drops onto cars and patios making a gummy black mess, and to make matters worse, it attracts lots of stinging wasps, flies and other insects to your yard.

A fungus called sooty mould also grows on the sticky honeydew, turning the patio and tree’s leaves and branches black.

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magnolia-scale-close-up-2_tn lawnsaversHow To Protect Your Magnolia Trees From Tree Scale

Prevention is the best defense for tree scale.  If you have magnolias at Lawnsavers we can combat this pest problem with a proven 3 treatment approach involving injections and an insect management spray when the nymphs emerge in September or October. If the weather co-operates, we also have a narrow window for prevention in Spring before the tree’s new buds open.  Proper fertilization is also imperative and part of our program to help strengthen the tree.

If your magnolias are infested right now, we can reduce the problem with a special injection each year. And as always, fortifying your tree’s health in the Fall with deep root fertilization will strengthen the tree’s natural defenses by replacing the stolen nutrients.

Treatment takes time to take effect, and it will not eliminate honeydew dripping and secondary pests like wasps until the scales are controlled. This can take at least 4-6 weeks after the first 2 treatments are completed.

How Much Does Dealing With Magnolia Tree Pests Cost?

Pricing for our Magnolia Scale Programs is based on the circumference of the trunk near ground level, the size of the canopy, and the number of trees, so contact us right away when you find tree scale on your magnolias. The sooner the problem is identified, the sooner we can act to protect your tree’s health.  Pictures and measurements of the trunk circumference can help us provide a treatment program and price right away.

In the meanwhile, you can also help protect your trees. Scale can be scraped off of the lower parts of the tree with a soft, dull plastic knife. Higher in the tree, a strong spray of water can knock some of them off. Do NOT use a pressure washer, though. That will harm the Magnolia tree’s soft bark.

Other common scale insects are “Euonymus Scale” which appear as tiny white flakes on the stems and leaves of those shrubs. Depending on the landscape value of those shrubs, replacement vs. treatment options need to be considered.

Your Top-Rated Choice For Help With Magnolia Tree Bugs In Ontario

If you notice waxy white spots on your Magnolia tree’s branches call Lawnsavers today! We have years of experience and can help you deal with this pest and protect your trees so that they grow large and beautiful for years to come. Contact us today to make your free estimate appointment. 1-888-503-5296

We also have the ability to assist you with: grubsgypsy moths, and ticks.

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FAQ About Best Lawn Care Practices

🌱 How Many Times a Week Should You Water Your Lawn?

You need to water at least once a week for at least an hour, this generally provides 1-1.5″ of water to the roots (a tuna cans height) (exceptions: 1. when you seed &  2. if you have an automated system 3. When we are experiencing extreme heat).
New Seeding Watering: Seed must be kept moist until established.  This will be influenced by the amount of sun, wind and heat you are experiencing in your particular area.  It is normal to require 3-4 short waterings per day to maintain a moist seedbed.  Use a light stream of water to lessen disturbance of the seedbed.

🌱 How Can I Control Insects And Pests Naturally?

Control the insect population by installing birdhouses or bat boxes to curb the number of unwanted flying insects around your property.  Unscented dish soap mixed in a water spray bottle is also an excellent natural pesticidal plant spray to reduce unwanted soft-bodied insects.

🌱 What is the Proper Height to Mow Grass To Keep It Healthy?

In the spring (May-June) and fall (September-November), your lawn should be kept at the 2.5 – 3-inch mark and in the hotter and drier summer periods at least 3 inches.  Contrary to popular belief, if you cut the lawn shorter it doesn’t make it grow at a slower rate, it can actually cause it to lose moisture and scorch.

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  • Let’s Grow Healthy Lawns and Trees together. updated: 07/21/22

    Hi Everyone, 

    Summer is officially here!
    We are extremely grateful to our loyal customers. AND we are thrilled to learn we were the only lawn care company in the GTA awarded the first BEST OF THE BEST Award from
    LawnSavers was awarded the “Best Place to Work” designation in the June 2022 issue of Lawn and Landscape Magazine!

    We are fully open and performing lawn and pest control services in all our GTA service areas.

    Our service experiences a higher demand and volume of calls during Seasonal peaks.
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    Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as we can and will do
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    You can also sign up for all services on our website by clicking here.

    2021 is now behind us.  Together with our customers, we are proud of our foundation as a community-minded, local, small family business and are extremely grateful to be able to persevere and keep all of our loyal employees working hard with us through it all.

    2020-21 important turf and tree high (and low) lights:

      • Nine days of snow, ice and wintry weather in May 2020,
        2021 was the driest April, May, and June in 51 years See Actual GTA daily weather records by clicking here.
      • One of the hottest, driest summers on record in 2020 with long spells of grass-killing heat and drought. Read more here in our 2020 summary blog.
        2021 carried on this trend with only a few days of rain in July and August, with extreme dryness and heat.
      • A bumper crop of crabgrass that germinated in the perfect (rainless) storm. As expected, even more arrived this past summer in 2021!
      • Chinch Bug numbers in 2020 were record breaking and persisted through the dry heat they love, secretly killing lawns while dormant! We can help with Chinch bug damage  Expect even more this summer!
      • Fall of 2021 provided excellent conditions for lawn that were treated through the summer with our recovery amendments to bounce back and regain their vigour. (thanks for the positive feedback!)
    • We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety, Integrity and doing the right thing are som of our most important Core Values.  We will continue to follow strict and common sense safety guidelines that ensure “low/no touch”.  Safety of our team and clients will always be front and centre!

    Thank you all for your understanding and extra patience. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to

    We thank you for supporting our local, family-owned business of 32 years.
     genuinely appreciate you.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer