We've mentioned a few times before that we're Novice gardeners (notice the capital "N"?). The previous owners of our little house were kind enough to leave us some fruit trees, but they didn't do such a hot job taking care of them. Little by little we're doing our best to make them happier. Last weekend we did some pruning and this weekend we got a diagnosis for our abundant but dirty tangerine tree.
Scale! We got the scale! Crawly tiny little brown pod-like things COVERING the poor tree. Actually, they don't move but they look like teeny brown moles covering the branches and leave a sooty dirt all over the tree's waxy green leaves.
We took a trip to the nursery to chat it up with the experts. After a quick diagnosis they pointed us towards an organic oil spray that's made up of clove oil, sesame oil and thyme oil. We clicked it on our hose and drenched the heck out those nasty little nuggets. We'll have to wait to see if it worked but for now our backyard smells like pomanders and grandmothers.
Make sure that you spray your trees in the early evening so that the leaves don't burn in the hot sunlight. We'll report back with the scale status in the near future. In the meantime we can still enjoy the tangerines because Green Light Organics spray is organic and natural...no chemicals.