Scale and Ants in my potted Acer tree!


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Hi I just bought a beautiful potted acer tree at a very cheap cost for my Dad knowing it had some issues. After a couple inspections I found that it had black ants nesting in the root system and scale (not too much I think) on some of its branches.

I’ve dealt with scale before on a hibiscus by rubbing all of its branches with methylated spirits and it seemed to make a recovery. Would this work on the acer tree?

I’ve been looking a
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round about how to deal with the ants but I don’t really know which one is the best. Some say to use a bait trap where ants would take insecticides back into the nest. I feel that using insecticides could kill and severely damage the tree. Others say to submerge to roots in water for 30 minutes to drive them out but I feel this could drown the roots and kill the plant.

Please feel free to add your suggestions. Thank you.
 
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If it were me I would use a spinosad soil drench for the ants. It will not harm the tree. I would also spray it on the ground around the container. If the scale is soft scale then the methylated sprits will work but if it is hard scale it is not very effective as the hard scale must be smothered to kill it. Neem Oil is best for hard scale.
 

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