Sooty Mold (fungi – Capnodium spp., Fumago spp., and others): Sooty mold is a name commonly given to a condition that is not truly a disease, but a black coating on leaves, branches and fruit made up of fungal growth. Inspect your magnolia tree for sooty mold. Cultural. The real causes often are the magnolia scale bugs. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. The fungus and the ants will go away once you have eliminated the sucking insects. Sooty mold on a magnolia tree that had magnolia scale. All Rights Reserved. Wasps love honeydew and are also attracted to the leaves, so if your magnolia is attracting wasps, that confirms the scale diagnosis. Magnolia scale excretes honeydew after feeding on the tree. A dark, unattractive fungus called sooty mold forms on the honeydew deposits. It appears as a sickly, black film covering the bark and/or leaves of a plant. Frequently, tree limbs and leaves are covered by an unsightly, black, sooty growth called sooty mold. Mold and ants may be the effect, rather than the cause, of magnolia tree problems. The sooty mold itself usually does not cause a direct problem for your plant but rather an indirect one: Namely, it inhibits the photosynthesis in a plant. Honeydew provides a hospitable environment for mold growth, especially if humidity levels are high. This is done by mixing a mild soap and water solution and spraying your tree or shrub down. These sucking insects can include aphids and scale insects and sooty mold may occur on any tree but is most commonly seen on boxelder, elm, linden, and especially maple trees. You can also spray with oil again later in the fall, before freezing temperatures hit, as well as early in spring before the tree's buds begin to grow. Dilute 1 tsp. Kind of like cleaning a greasy pot. These insects drain sap from magnolia plants and excrete a sticky-sweet liquid called honeydew. Check the tree above the infected tree, because the honeydew can drip onto the tree or vegetation underneath. Magnolia scale will attack magnolia trees and tulip tree. Remember that it is the sucking insects, rather than the sooty mold fungus or the ants, that you should be fighting. How to Get Rid of Black Mold on a Magnolia Tree Step 1. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. It appears as a sickly, black film covering the bark and/or leaves of a plant. A dark, unattractive fungus called sooty mold forms on the honeydew deposits. Honeydew Damage. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Known scientifically as Capnodium, sooty mold is a kind of fungus. Black, sooty mold and mildew appears on magnolia trees when the tree suffers a heavy infestation of magnolia scale insects (Neolecanium cornuparvum). The fungus is usually dark colored and powdery-like, hence the name sooty mold. Cut to a healthy, outward-growing portion of the tree. How to Remove Black Sooty Mold. With a layer of sooty mold fungus covering the leaves of a plant, the sunlight cannot get through properly. These pests secrete a sticky substance (called honeydew), on which a black-colored, velvety fungus grows. Scale insects are commonly the culprit behind this chain of events on magnolia trees. MANAGEMENT. The Neolecanium, or the Magnolia Scale, is the most destructive of magnolia pests. Sooty mold symptoms, black powder on leaves. Look for sucking insects like aphids, mealybugs, soft scales, leafhoppers, whiteflies and psyllids. Check the tree above the infected tree, because the honeydew can drip onto the tree or vegetation underneath. The honeydew may also draw other insects like ants and wasps to the tree. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Growth may also occur on other objects such as garden furniture, paths, cars, etc. Spray the tree in the mid-morning with a garden hose to dislodge some of the black mold and remove the bugs. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. And because this honeydew—true to its name—is a very sweet substance, ants like to feed on it. Step 2. This fungal growth is caused by a sucking insect infestation, which leaves a sugary substance called honeydew on the leaves and bark of trees. If it’s bad, you may have to use a soft brush to scrape away the sooty mold. They are commonly found on one- to two-year-old branches and can look like tiny, dark nymphs in the winter, waxy, white bumps in midsummer, and yellowish-tan bumps in late summer. Inspect your magnolia tree for sooty mold. Typically, the best time to spray them is late-August and into September. Inspect your magnolia tree for sooty mold. Air-born sooty mold fungus attaches to this honeydew and develops quickly into a black layer that covers leaves. The sooty mold itself usually does not cause a direct problem for your plant but rather an indirect one: Namely, it inhibits the photosynthesis in a plant.