Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Treatment

Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is a sap-sucking, scale-like insect that feeds on the needles of hemlock trees and is non-native to this area. HWA was first detected in the United States in the 1950s and has since spread as far North as Maine, where it is confined to coastal areas of the state. HWA suck the sap out of the needles, leaving them dry and injecting a toxin that eventually kills the needles. Infested hemlock trees begin losing their needles starting from the lower limbs and eventually the trees become weak and typically succumb to other diseases and pest or they become extremely frail and can snap or break from wind.

HWA have a unique life cycle and complete two overlapping generations a year. Generally, adults lay up to 300 eggs on the underside of branches that are protected in a white woolly covering between March and April. Young crawlers begin to hatch in April and May and begin feeding by inserting their piercing-sucking mouthparts into the hemlock needles. They continue to feed throughout the rest of their development. The second generation feeds and matures in June and deposits eggs. Young crawlers emerge in July and feed until the peak of summer heat in August when they go dormant. Feeding resumes in the fall and the nymphs develop their white woolly covering that they will overwinter in.

close up of pine tree afflicted with Hemlock Woolly Adelgids

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Treatment Options

Here at Hawkes Tree Service, we offer two types of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid treatment. The first of these control options is a systemic basal bark spray that will kill any adelgids presently feeding on the tree. It is important to consider the time of year and life cycle of HWA when planning this treatment to ensure adequate control. The second option is a systemic soil injection that is absorbed by the roots of the tree and is translocated to the needles and other parts of the tree and can protect it from Hemlock Woolly Adelgid for up to four years.

If you suspect you may have HWA infesting your Hemlock trees, reach out to Hawkes Tree Service today and get a free consultation. Don’t let the trees on your property fall victim to these pests. Get expert tree care service today!

Maine Pest Control Guidelines

The State of Maine has strict guidelines for which products and treatment methods may be used for Winter Moth within 250 feet of the mean high water mark. These laws are designed to protect the integrity of marine ecosystems and habitats. Inside this setback zone we recommend individual tree injections. Soil injections use a small volume of product inserted near the base of the tree’s root flares where the fibrous root hairs can absorb it. The systemic product is translocated throughout the tree with other nutrients and delivered to the new tissue in growing leaves. 

Trunk injections work in a similar way and use a systemic product as well. In this case, we actually drill a small hole into the root flares of the tree and insert a needle that is connected to a system containing our product. The tree will pull the product in as it does with water and other nutrients and when we are done the tree will compartmentalize the small wounds and quickly heal over.

Every property is a bit different when it comes to treatment methods for Winter Moth. If you would like more information or a free consultation for your property, please contact us or call today at (207) 442-7444.