Tiny insect specs under bark on Vibernum tree


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Towards the end of last summer, top branches on my Vibernum tree started dying off. In the general area I noticed tiny flying specks, but couldn't tell where they were coming from. It's now March and as I was pruning away the dead branches I noticed the bark is loose and cracked. peeling the bark away I see tiny white specks crawling around under the bark. They're too tiny to determine what shape they are. They look like specks of flour. moving. Any idea what this might be and how to treat it?

In the general area I saw three small spiders. Not sure they're part of the problem, but thought I'd mention it.

ALSO, in a different area of the tree on the very bottom, a stem broke off. It was rotted through, leaving behind an open soft spot (see attached photos). Should I treat this opening with something or just leave as is?

I'm new to gardening and advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Botryosphaeria canker is a fungal disease that causes leaves, even entire branches, to wilt and die. Scraping back the bark on infected branches will often reveal dark brown wood. Canker tends to attack shrubs that are suffering from drought stress, so keep your viburnum well-irrigated during DRY weather. The good news is a Sweet viburnums should live between 50 and 150 years.
 
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The bugs are attacking the tree because weakness from the disease in the tree. Pests attack stressed plants first and foremost before attacking healthy ones because of their weakness. I would keep the top two inches of soil aerated and loose and that will to allow the roots to get needed oxygen. Only water when the soil is dry because that may be what caused you problem in the rainy season. When it gets hot and dry water deeply and aerate again between waterings. Never keep the soil WET
 
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Oh ok. Thank you so much. I assume I should cut off any dead branches to limit spread, which I did. Should I treat the stubs/open wounds with anything? Is there an anti fungal treatment I should apply in the coming summer if it continues?
 
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There is no viburnum disease treatment for this ailment, but once the plant gains health, it can usually withstand the fungal attack. Keep it watered during the dry times and keep the top two inches aerated all year. If it becomes too hot and dry you may want to add a couple of inches of mulch around the trunk to help keep the soil from drying out during drought times. Water management is the most important treatment for your Viburnum.
 
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My viburnum has started sprouting leaves, and looked healthy at first, but now those leaves are turning black. Is this the same fungal issue you think? There's no remedy for this?
 

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