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Woolly Adelgid Update

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The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) Adelges tsugae was first described in western North America in 1924, and first reported in the eastern United States in 1951 near Richmond, VA.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid damages and kills Hemlock trees by sucking the sap out of the small twigs. Once the sap is gone, the needles turn brown, fall off, and the tree dies. Trees need their needles to produce food.

This pest started killing Hemlock trees in North Carolina and Virginia and has now crept into South Carolina. The pestilence can be identified by looking at the Hemlocks green twigs (especially on the bottom side). Look for fluffy white looking pieces of cotton like substance.

If you have Hemlock trees, call us to double check and have them treated. This pestilence will most likely eventually kill all untreated Hemlocks. Don't wait till it's too late to take action!

Research scientists using molecular genetics have recently determined that several distinct populations of HWA occur in Asia and western North America and we now know that HWA populations found in the East originated from southern Japan. In their native range, these populations of HWA cause little damage to the hemlock trees they feed on as natural enemies and possible tree resistance has evolved with this insect pest.

In the absence of these natural control elements in eastern North America, this introduced insect pest attacks both eastern (Canadian) and Carolina hemlock which are often damaged and killed within a few years of becoming infested. HWA is now established from northeastern Georgia to southeastern Maine and as far west as eastern Kentucky and Tennessee.
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