Leaves look like a Japanese Magnolia.
It maybe infected with Powdery mildew.Just my guess someone here will know for sure.
I don't think it is powdery mildew. I think it is little bugs. my rose of sharon has those things on it but they are little bugs. I have no idea what but they show up every spring. I used some insecticide on them this year and they went away.
Not a fungus...
That is one of the wooly adelgids, which is an insect. ... a sucking insect at that. The white cottony appearing material is a waxy protective cover. You can try to wash it off with a strong stream of water. Insecticidal soap may work if applied several times over the course of a week. The first application or two would be to try to disolve the waxy covedr with the soap and make them vulnerable to a subsequent treatment. A third alternative is Imidacloprid insecticide which is a systemic that is applied to the soil for root uptake. It is sold as a Bayer product called Tree and Shrub Insec Control or some such name. Look at the active ingrediant list on the label.
Thanks for responding! Do you think the Garden Safe product will do the trick? It's a 3-in-1 product that also contains a insecticide. It lists scale as one of the pests it will treat and recommends treating every 7 days. As far as washing them off, should I put on some rubber gloves and use a water hose to try to get most of them off and then treat?
I really like this shrub...and I don't know how long this problem has been occurring since I just bought this house about 6 months ago. I'd like to do whatever I can to save this shrub/tree.
I will check out the Bayer product this weekend.