Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Native to Southern Japan, this invasive aphid insect sucks sap and injects toxic saliva while feeding, causing needles to turn greyish-green and fall out within a few months.

Latin Name

Adelges tsugae

Trees Affected

Eastern Hemlock, Carolina Hemlock

Threat to Trees

Moderate to Severe (but not currently a threat to local trees)

Onset

3-5 years from infestation to death after consistent toxification and weakening of integrity

Signs & Symptoms

Insect produces a protective white “wool” which covers young hemlock needle bases, wooly eggs throughout needles of young and mature trees in spring.

Large, mature hemlocks are most susceptible but young trees are also threatened. Dieback progresses from major lower limbs to the peak of the crown within 4 years. If Hemlocks manage to fight the infestation, they often succumb to other wood-boring

insects or diseases.

Description

Small aphids that produce a waxy wool around their habitat as a protective coating. Because of its size, the insect is easily dispersed by wind, birds and other animals. Two generations per year that lay between 50 and 300 eggs from March to April.

Domestic Origin

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Southeast Richmond, VA, 1951

Geographic Location

Northeastern Georgia to Southeastern Maine, as far west as eastern Kentucky and Tennessee

Photo Credits