The Faulkner County Extension Service will host a presentation regarding the restoration of the beauty of crape myrtle trees in the area next week.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 11 at the Faulkner County Library on Tyler Street in Conway.

Crape myrtle trees are planted throughout the South. The flowering trees are a favorite in the area and can be found at many residences and businesses to beautify landscapes, County Extension Agent Richard Klerk said.

Sunnie Ruple, a local Master Gardener, said crape myrtles went without intruders for many years until recently. However, the trees are now faced with the crape myrtle bark scale, which gives the trees' bark a speckled appearance, Ruple said.

The intrusion of the crape myrtle bark scale was first discovered in Texas nearly 15 years ago, Klerk said.

"This insect was first discovered near Dallas in 2004 and has now spread to many states," he said, noting researches have now reached a solution. "The insect causing damage can be controlled with the crape myrtle finally returning to its natural beauty and color."

A presentation will be offered at the library on April 11, covering the cause of the discoloration of crape myrtle trees and will teach attendees about the research-based control steps to restore the beauty of crape myrtle trees in the area, Klerk said.

Ruple said she believes the presentation will be beneficial to local homeowners and businesses.

"These intruders are affecting the health and looks of [crape myrtles]," she said Monday. "Finding the scale will also affect beauty berries."

The presentation will offer preventative information that can help gardeners and other landscapers keep this infestation from further spreading.

For more information regarding the presentation, contact the Faulkner County Extension Service, located at 844 Faulkner Street in Conway by calling 501-329-8344.

Klerk said programs offered by the extension office are inclusive and special services can be made available for those with special needs if organizers are notified prior to the event.

"The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer," Klerk wrote in a news release Monday. "The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your local extension office as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay."