We moved to Papamoa from Christchurch last year and I am unfamiliar with some of the more tropical plants in our garden and the pests and diseases of the area so I am very much hoping you can help me.

We have 3 Meryta Sinclairii of approximately 2.5m height which look great from a distance. On close inspection I’ve discovered one is really healthy, one has scale (which I’ve just started treating with Conqueror Oil) and the third has a fairly substantial issue with oozing sap to the extent that I’ve found a couple of golf ball sized lumps on the ground beneath the tree. Most of the sap oozing sites are slightly swollen and the bark has split. They are generally below or just above places where the tree branches although in a couple of cases sap oozes midway along a branch.

I wondered if some nasty little crawling pest is doing the damage so I removed one of the branches which was looking a bit dead and there was no sign of insects in the sap oozing sites. They may be in evidence in some of the healthier looking branches however but I am loathe to cut any more of the tree at this stage.

I would really appreciate any advice as I don’t want to lose the tree.

Thanks very much.

Kind Regards,

Alison Pihema.

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Hi Alison thanks for your question. Now that you have sprayed the trees give that a season to work and 4 weeks after spraying you can spray with Neem oil which is sold in store. This will kill sucking and chewing insects.

Happy gardening. Maria palmers national garden consultant

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