University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension - Selecting Trees for Your Home
Spruce Bud Scale
Physokermes piceae
Spruce bud scale
Severity: 4 out of 5
Frequency: 2 out of 5
Symptoms: This scale is small and is often clustered in-groups of 3 to 8 at the base of new shoots. Their size and color often allows them to be overlooked or mistaken as buds. They are round and reddish-brown in color. Lower branches are more often attacked than higher branches. Severe infestations can produce sufficient honeydew to allow sooty mold to grow. In addition severe infestations can cause lower branches to die, especially on trees that are already weak or stressed.
Cycle: There is only one generation per growing season. The immatures overwinter on the under side of the needles. In the spring, the females move onto the twigs to complete their development. Crawlers usually appear in June.
Management: If needed, apply a suggested insecticide. Apply when Hills-of-Snow hydrangea is in bloom. Summer oils will turn blue spruces green.
Associated trees: