Magnolia Scale

pest management

Lorraine Graney, Bartlett Tree Experts,

pest diseases

William Fountain, University of Kentucky,

pest management pest diseases


Plant Pest Library

Search pests and diseases here.



Magnolia scale is a large soft-scale insect native to North America, with the female getting as large as 1/2 inch in diameter. This scale primarily affects Magnolia species but may also be found on other ornamentals. Magnolia scale is most often seen during late-summer and can be mistaken for buds on the twigs.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Twig and canopy tip dieback
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Waxy, circular “scale bodies” on twigs
  • Honeydew

Effects On Your Tree

Magnolia scale are most often a nuisance due to the sap excretion (honeydew) they produce when sucking the sap from plant tissues. Severe infestations can cause irreversible damage.

Management Options

Magnolias with scale should be monitored regularly to determine if intervention is necessary. Horticultural oils can be applied to target the crawler stage in August and September. Systemic products may be used to prevent scale infestation.

Share thist article:
This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.