What's wrong with my schefflera?

stellar_collisionApril 2, 2014

Hi, a couple of months ago the top of my schefflera suddenly went black, and during the following weeks some kind of lump grew out of it. It's hard, dry, and smells a bit like resin from a tree. Does anyone know what this is? Do I need to cut it back? Although you can see some brownish spots on the stem, the leaves look healthy - there just hasn't been any more growth since this thing appeared (it's a young plant, just 40 cm tall).

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It looks like the beginning stages of a twig gall. Galls are often caused by chemicals that affect growth and cause abnormalities, chemicals released by either diseases or insects feeding. The insects that most commonly cause galls are wasps, mites, aphids, and flies, not necessarily in that order.

I'd remove it with a sharp pair of sterilized pruning shears, or use a fresh straight-edged razor blade or utility knife blade. Cut back a good distance proximal to the abnormality.

Al

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:04PM
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stellar_collision

Hi,

I found a similar thread somewhere on the net with the same advise so I gave it a try, cut the plant back some 5 cm, and one month later there seems to be some development at the top three leaves' nodes.

Looks promising?

And yes, I completely failed at performing a clean cut... poor plant. :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:30AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Some more specific guidance can be had if you're interested. A picture of the full plant would be nice, though.

Al

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 2:58PM
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stellar_collision

Well, that was fast - look who's waving! :-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:04AM
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stellar_collision

Most certainly interested, thanks. :-)

A few leaves have an abnormal shape - according to information I've found on the net that could be a side-effect of whatever caused the removed lump.

Three roots grew out of the pot's drainage holes and they look healthy (not squishy or discolored).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:05AM
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stellar_collision

Two weeks have passed and I'd say cutting the plant back was a success. :)

Thanks tapla for your advise!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 12:23PM
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