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Reply to R. W. Gellatly. You probably have the brown or soft scale, Parthenolecanium corni. It usually doesn't do much harm, and because it's the same colour as the stems it is easily overlooked.
[...] There's a good picture on the BBC Gardeners' World blog which looks very similar to my photograph. Bark life | Wildlife | Gardening Blog | Talk | BBC Gardeners' World Thanks, [...]
the scale insects look really big to what we find on some of our shrubs or vines, but we are not troubled by them very much I'am pleased to say.

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