As with so many problems that present themselves to Humanity and the Ecosystem, using a treatment for the resulting symptom will not cure the problem. I do wash off the sooty mold when I see it. I have cleverly devised a topical spray that inhibits it as well which is completely non toxic. This spray seems to be controlling the Peacock spot, which is another problem Olive Trees get.
It has taken me a year to wait for the cycle of events that unfold into the appearance of sooty mold over our winter and wet spring.
It has also been the subject of many hours browsing online for clues, and mulling over cups of tea and a few cigarettes worth of planning.
There is a cycle of events that allows the sooty mold to get a foothold on my pristine olive leaves. You would think the sooty mold was a problem that occurs simply because its damp and not cold enough. This is where dealing with it as solely a fungal problem is wrong, it is the culmination of many other factors during the previous Summer.
To be honest I hardly thought owning five olive trees would give me such pleasure, and at the same time so many hours of concern. These were five sickly trees when I bought them. However it has been a huge learning process to nurture them back to health. What I do need is a lesson on pruning them properly though. At the moment it' a bit trial and error. Still I am slowly learning.
Back to the sooty mold. As with most things observation is the key to coming up with an understanding of the problem. Last year I found all these little crawly things eating the undersides of the leaves. Naturally I had to find out what they were. Turns out they were one of the life stages of a scale insect.
These nymphs and crawlers munch on the undersides of leaves, then excrete a sticky sugary substance onto leaves below. Yup, turns out the mold spores are always present. They wash of the upper leaves, and find a nice sugary home to bloom on in the damp spring.
I gave all the trees a good spray with green soap and a bit of sunflour oil a few times, which suffocates the crawlers if its left on for a few hours, and then rinsed off. I definately had less sooty mold this spring.
I also decided to give three of my trees a haircut this spring to see if not leaving so many leaves already infected on the trees might help stop the transmission of the mold spores during the summer months.
I have also fed the trees with liquid seaweed and intend to get into soil testing.
Now I am painstakingly hunting through my trees to find the brown scales before the nymphs hatch this year. I know I will miss some, but if and when they do hatch, I shall be spraying the trees with the green soap mixture.
I suppose I think about places like Guam which is currently in the news. Aside from the Americans completely devastating the ecosystem of the Island by not dealing with the snake problem sooner. (Perhaps Americans would rather live in a concrete jungle) due to their global policies we all have 'sooty mold'.
An unsightly, choking, stunting, condition caused by their lifecycle of crapping on people who feed their 'interests'.
I think North Korea are between a rock and a hard place. China wants to use NK as a buffer zone, and South Korea and America want to assimilate it. I also think there is a huge power play going on.
It seems the US have very few real possible ways of either deterring North Korea, or negotiating with them.
North Korea is needling and pushing the US, and it is having an interesting effect. It is polarising opinion. People are beginning to wonder what it's all about. There was no point in sanctioning NK further.
It seems the only people who stand to lose from these sanctions the US are placing on everyone are the stockmarkets and investors. The US are perhaps playing along with the game and trying to crash the world economy again.
To which the sooty mold hits the fan and it will be the working people all over the world who will have to foot the bill for the political scabs in this world.