My husband was 'kind' enough to by a young tree for me yesterday but it has black nodules on the branches, they 'pick' off easily and are an empty (slightly domed inside) about match head size leaving no actual damage beneath, but a paler bark. If I keep this tree, can it damage further stock I buy or is it not a tree with a problem!!
You have scale insects on your tree. If the tree is small you can pick them off manually. Ask your local nursery what products are offered for scale control. In orchards ants often protect scales from predators; in return the insects secrete a drop of honeydew. Stopping the ants at the trunk with sticky tape sometimes allows natural predators to control scale infestations.
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