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Carpenter Costin's Blog

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Sep 24, 2013 9:56:00 AM

HWAAn insect is threatening to destroy one of our most valuable native trees—the Eastern Hemlock.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny, aphid-like insect introduced to the U.S. from Asia.  Since 1988, when it was discovered in the state, it has slowly spread throughout the region, usually by wind and birds.  In addition to being small, HWA is different from other insects as it lays dormant much of the growing season and becomes active throughout the winter, producing new egg masses as early as February.

HWA can be easily recognized by the presence of white cottony egg masses on Hemlock twigs.  Damage is caused when the eggs hatch and the young feed by sucking sap from the twigs, killing them.

Trees infested with HWA, untreated, may decline and die very quickly.   Once HWA has been identified, it should be treated immediately. 

Effective treatments are available to manage HWA.

Call now, 877/308-8733, to have your Hemlocks inspected by a certified Arborist and protected against this deadly pest.

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Topics: tree care, Carpenter Costin, pest management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Treatment of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Fall

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Sep 21, 2012 8:49:00 AM

Treating for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the fall will mitigate the pest just as they are coming out of their dormant stage, or prevent your healthy Hemlocks from being infested.

As temperatures begin to cool in the fall, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid leaves its summer dormancy to once again feast on the Hemlocks across the North East. Depending on the temperature, this usually occurs between late September and October. Preventative or controlling treatments at this time are best as they will keep the pests at bay all fall, winter, and into the spring – a fall hemlock woolly adelgid treatmentperiod of time when they are most devastating to Hemlocks.

Preventing and controlling Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) can be accomplished with a foliar application of Horticultural Oil. For the best preventative measures, an application in both the early spring and fall will keep your Hemlocks free of this pest. Hemlocks that have already been infested may require more treatments to kill the pest, and keep it from returning. For trees that have already been seriously infested, pair a foliar application with a soil injection treatment for the best chance of saving the Hemlock.  

Once infested, a Hemlock can be quickly defoliated by HWA. To ensure your Hemlock trees remain healthy and safe, consider preventative Woolly Adelgid treatments. Our Arborists recommend preventative HWA treatments on all Hemlocks, even if they have never been infested, as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has become so prevalent in our region. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when your Hemlocks will be infested.

The most popular question regarding HWA treatments is, “What does it cost?” Most HWA treatments will be under $150, and can be much less depending on the number and size of trees to be treated. The cost of removing and/or replacing the dead Hemlocks is significantly greater than the investment in HWA preventative treatments, so keeping your Hemlocks safe and healthy with preventative treatments is always a wise idea.

To have a Certified Arborist out to inspect your Hemlocks, or to sign up for a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid treatment, click the button below.

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treating hemlock woolly adelgid

Treating HWA with a foliar application of Horticultural Oil will control and prevent the prevalent pest.

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Topics: Fall Landscape Care, pest management, Insect & Disease Management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Controlling and Preventing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Infestation

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Apr 12, 2012 4:36:00 PM

Ensure your Hemlocks are safe from this invasive pest with proper HWA treatment practices.

Hemlocks are wonderful trees to have in your landscape, and their density makes them a great choice for planting in privacy screens. However, without proper care, Hemlocks are very susceptible to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, which can seriously damage and eventually kill your Hemlocks.

Unlike other insects, such as Winter Moths, that feed on the leaves, needles, twigs, or new buds of trees, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) does not damage Hemlocks by feeding. Instead, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid causes damage to Hemlocks because its saliva is toxic to the tree. As the HWA feeds on the Hemlock, its saliva is spread through the needles and slowly Hemlock Wooly Adelgiddisperses throughout the tree.

Unhealthy Hemlocks, particularly those infested with HWA, usually stick out like a sore thumb, as the rich green color is replaced by a grayish or yellowish hue. In a group of Hemlocks, you can usually pick out one infested with HWA fairly easily.

Controlling and preventing HWA is relatively straight forward, and the insects can be killed quickly; however, the toxin from their saliva has already infiltrated the tree and it may take a while for the tree to rebound. It can take an entire year or more until the toxicity in the tree is reduced.

The common misconception among homeowners with treated Hemlocks is that the tree is still infested because they see the small “white spots” on their trees. What really happens when treatments are applied correctly is that the insects are killed, but their woolly protective covering remains on the tree. Over time the woolly covering will fall off.

Hemlocks need to be treated for HWA every year. Even if your Hemlocks have not been infested, these pests have spread so rapidly that there is no way to ensure your trees will remain free of infestation. There really is no rhyme or reason to when HWA will infest, but it is well-known that they are force to be reckoned with for Hemlocks in our region. A topical treatment of Horticultural oil in the spring and fall, coupled with an injection treatment in between will do the job.

If you think you may have Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, or have Hemlocks that are not treated regularly you should consider consulting with a Certified Arborist to learn how to keep your Hemlocks safe.

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Topics: pest management, Insect & Disease Management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid