On further investigation I found it on the adjacent camellia although this was not as badly affected................
............................and on the skimmia which although adjacent to both is again not as badly affected.
I disillusioned myself for all of a few minutes that the sooty mould was growing on the honey dew of a minor aphid infestation but it was not to be, on the camellia is the culprit, the egg case of the dreaded cushion scale.
I have a very large holly tree, which coincidentally has just been topped by a third, whose progeny spring up everywhere and don't always get grubbed up immediately if growing in areas of denser vegetation. These seedlings provide a further area for the cushion scale to thrive as holly is yet another susceptible genus.
When I published my original post describing a rather drastic solution I was aware of small further infestations and in July dutifully sprayed all those plants I deemed susceptible with a systemic, it would now appear that I was a bit too complacent and that this has allowed the cushion scale to get a hold.
- First off, when I can find a dry day! I will start regular spraying of the affected growth with a soap solution.
- Every holly seedling I can find will be uprooted and sent away to the tip.
- Start spraying with systemic insecticide at the end of May to make sure I catch the hatching pests. The large holly will also have to be sprayed as effectively as possible as it will always be a source of re-infection if left.
- The treatment will be repeated as necessary until the infestation is controlled.