Q. My live oak tree foliage is covered with fluffy growth that looks like a fungus. The tree is only a few years old and 10 feet tall. Any idea what the fungus might be, and how it should be treated?

A. From the way you describe it, I believe it is probably mealybugs, a form of aphids that suck the plant juices while protected by that calcium coating that looks like fungus. Mealybugs are most common on tropical hibiscus. On a small plant, you can do a fair job of controlling the mealybugs by spraying them off with water pressure or hand removing them. Acephate and other systemic insecticides work sometimes when sprayed on the plant. 

Calvin Finch is a retired horticulture agent in Bexar County. He writes for and works with a number of area media outlets.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.