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Question: cercis


I have two tall cercis or Judas tree in the garden; every year after flowering they produce many balls of very sticky white resin.
This inconvenience lasts three to four weeks.
Can you recommend a remedy?
Thanks so much.

Answer: cercis


Dear Luisa,
the Cercis siliquastrum, or Judas tree, is a tree common in nature throughout the Mediterranean area; it is widely used in gardens, and also in street trees, because it generally remains small in size (it is unlikely to exceed 4-5 meters in height), and because it has a beautiful flowering, without requiring much care.
Unfortunately this bell'alberello tends to be attacked by a small insect, called psilla, which lurks on the leaves, producing a honeydew, which often falls from the leaves into small resinous or myelous spheres. Generally these insects develop in a mild climate, ie during the spring, and tend to disappear when the hottest summer arrives. Unfortunately they are difficult to eradicate, as they produce many generations in a short time, and often tend not to die completely after an insecticide treatment. Before practicing any treatment, I advise you to vigorously prune the plant, also because, when the psylla develops, the plant has by now exhausted its complete flowering. Shorten all the branches, so as to aerate the entire foliage and make it leaner. After this pruning you will find it easier to practice an insecticide treatment; go to the nursery and recommend a specific product against the psyllid, which you will vaporize at least a couple of times on your Judas tree, 15 days apart between the two treatments.
These plants have the characteristic of blooming on old wood, so pruning after flowering will stimulate the production of many new shoots, and therefore also a more abundant flowering for next year.