In the early fall and late spring months, home owners should be on alert for a tiny,
round insect called kermes oak scale. Although these insects are smaller than a pea,
they have been responsible for massive amounts of damage on Bur Oak and Pin Oak
trees in the Kansas City metro area. Kermes oak scale insects can squeeze their way
into the smallest cracks and crevices of a tree’s bark, trunk and branches. Bur oak
kermes scale begins hatching and attacking newly expanding leaves as early as April;
while the pin oak kermes scale hatches in the beginning weeks of September. The
insects weaken the branches of the infected tree and cause mature leaves to become
distorted. The current year’s growth may begin to turn brown and die back, causing
an unsightly appearance. The results of a kermes oak scale infestation can be
devastating to a tree’s overall health if proper measures are not taken immediately.
If you suspect that your oak tree may be suffering from kermes oak scale, it is important
to have the tree evaluated to prevent further damage from occurring. K.C. Arborist
specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and control of insects and diseases for trees and
shrubs. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding these issues.