I have recently moved into my new home, the previously owner had the front landscaped beautifully. In June our 7-10 feet Magnolia tree had a lot of fly and bees and moths around it. As I looked closely I noticed that Magnolia's branches are covered with white oval spot. I have treated with some insect spray twice with no effect. Any suggestions?
Thanks for writing. The presence of flies, bees and moths in your new garden is a great sign as they are helpful and necessary pollinators. You do not want to do anything to deter or remove them as they are helping to promote the flowering of your perennials and flowering trees and shrubs. As for the magnolia, I am intrigued. I know some species of Magnolias that have white oval spots that are a natural part of the bark and how it looks and grows. Depending on the size of the spots I wonder if you are looking at lenticels, slightly raised growths on branches that help trees like magnolias and cherries with gas exchange. Next time you inspect the tree see if the spots are uniform throughout the entire tree on branches of the same size. Larger branches will have a different look to the bark as they mature and age. If you find that the oval spots are uniformly all over the tree and the tree appears to be healthy then I am sure there is nothing to worry about. As I say, it might just be the natural characteristic of young magnolia bark. If the oval spots are just on a few branches and you are certain they look different than the rest of the tree then either follow up with me again and describe them as much as you can and/or feel free to send a digital photograph if that is an option as that might help a lot.