HWA - A Giant Killer

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hemlock trees are the 'Giants' of the Acadian Forest.  Longest lived of all our trees -- upwards of 400 years -- they provide an important role in the forest ecology.  And an important commercial tree.

But a Giant Killer has arrived in the province.

HWA or Hemlock Woolly Adelgid ('eh - dell -gid') is a very small aphid-like insect that was mistakenly introduced into the United States in the 1950s.

Essentially, HWA sucks the life out of Hemlocks over several years.  Entire Hemlock forests have been killed in parts of the United States.  And it has been steadily marching north, first being detected in South Western Nova Scotia this past spring/summer.

What can you do?

HWA - underside of Hemlock needles
  • the next time you walk in the forest, look at the underside of Hemlock needles for a white, fuzzy growth
  • if you find anything, take a picture and call Ron Neville at CFIA - 902-536-1022

Right now -- fall into winter -- is when the evidence of HWA is most obvious.

Some excellent resources:
  1. Government of Maine
  2. Cornell Botanic Gardens
  3. Wikipedia

My next post is a summary of a conversation with Ron Neville who is involved with Nova Scotia's response to HWA.

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