Japanese Maple: Insect Identification


this year hasn’t been easy for my Japanese Maple here in SoCal. Last month got spider mites that I was able to control and has dealt with the warm weather. I’ve noticed this morning a new set of bugs around like oval shaped and white as you can notice in the pics. What kinda insect are those? Are they considered beneficial ones or should I get rid of them? I physically removed them this morning just in case.

Another point: I’ve noticed some buds opening and sprouting at this time that I found unusual for maples, maybe because weather is unusually warm here in SoCal. Wondering how I can deal with those new opening buds, should I keep them growing or deal same way as past buds (pinch them to keep track of size/shape). Is it common for maples to open some buds at this time of year?

looks potentially like a scale and if so - exterminate

1 Like

This looks like mealy bug. If only a few you can dab off with q-tip dipped in alcohol. If more wide spread there are numerous ways to eradicate…but iding is your first step.

1 Like

cotton scale bug, easily removal able, simply peel the bug off with your hands, and any white residue left on the leaves simply run your hands through water and rub the white off.

1 Like

Thank you guys for the help and advice, made sure to remove them and applied an insecticide soap to help mitigating this as well.

Regarding the buds opening at this time of year, at least I wasn’t expecting that to happen right now. Is this a behavior that Japanese Maples usually presents? In theory I was expecting buds to open just next February/March here.

P.S.: this worries me as was expecting the energy at this time of year to start getting stored in the vascular system instead of being spent in growing new mass foliage.

I suspect that the fall season in southern California may start later than Ryan’s in Oregon.
You may get more reliable information regarding seasonal timing from local bonsai practitioners.

The tree will probably stop leafing out when it reads the change of heat/light conditions for your area.
How long have you had the tree? Did it come from another climatic zone?

1 Like

@cab_lad_70 I acquired this Japanese Maple from last January, so I have had it for less than 1 year around here. It came from San Francisco, what’s interesting in CA is the existence of multiple microclimates even within same city. Maybe SoCal is too warm for that maple this is why is still pushing grow in the leaf mass. It will be interesting to watch it to experience for the 1st time fall down here. I will guess it will stop leafing out and start changing color by end of October and or November.