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Hemlock Scale

3 Tiny Insects That Do Serious Damage to Hemlock Trees

3-Tiny-Insects-that-do-Serious-Damage-to-Hemlock-TreesHemlock Trees are Coniferous Evergreens that are found all over Pennsylvania. They are a wonderful piece to any landscape, and can be a focal point of your backyard or even act as a privacy screen on the perimeter of your property. However, there are 3 tiny insects that do serious damage to Hemlock Trees: Adelgid, Scale, and Mites. The experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn explain what to look for and the best treatment options, so you can keep this valuable tree healthy and beautiful all year long!


Woolly Adelgid on Hemlock TreeAdelgid

The leading pest found on Hemlocks is Adelgid. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid gets its name from the wool-like balls seen on the Hemlock branches. If you see white globular substance on the stems of your Hemlock, you’ll need to have it treated right away. Adelgid can cause a Hemlock to decline significantly! These little insects zap nutrients from a trees leaves and needles. You may also see a discoloration of the needles, needle drop and branch dieback. Without treatment the Hemlock will die. Trees must be treated when the pest is most active.


Scale are tiny insects that suck the sap out of plants.  Scale attack many kinds of trees and plants, including Azalea, Beech, Holly, Tulip Poplar, Magnolia, Yew, Euonymus, and fruit trees. But they are particularly a problem for conifers such as Hemlock. You can typically find signs of Scale on the underside of your Hemlock’s needles. Look for black, sooty residue, white specks, and wart-like bumps on stems, twigs or branches. 

Sometimes Adelgid and Scale can attack a Hemlock tree at the same time! Since they have overlapping life cycles, the timing for treatments is key to eradicating both species of insects. Check out ISA Certified Giroud Arborist, Rob Nagy, as he evaluates a Hemlock suffering with both Adelgid and Scale. He explains how to spot problems on your Hemlocks and the best action to take to treat your tree.


Mites on Hemlock TreeMites

Mites are yet another insect with a hunger for Hemlocks! Feeding on the underside of foliage enables Mites to go undetected until it has caused serious damage to your tree. Leaves and needles can appear yellowed, stippled, or mottled and can drop prematurely. Severely infested host plants usually have a fine cobweb appearance on the leaves, particularly on the underside of the leaf. Again, early treatment is the best way to rid your Hemlock of these nasty little bugs.

Treatment Options

The good news is that Hemlock Adelgid, Scale and Mites can be controlled through targeted treatments! It’s important to schedule an inspection with your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist at the first sign of infestation because catching these problems early is key to eradicating the insects. Your arborist may also recommend tree trimming to remove infested or dead limbs.  If the tree is deemed hazardous, tree removal may be the only solution.  

If you see any sign of problems on your Hemlock, call 215-682-7704 to schedule a FREE inspection with your ISA Certified Giroud Arborist! Don’t wait until it’s too late!




Author: Jeanne Hafner

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