HWA II - Nova Scotia's Response

Monday, November 13, 2017

HWA Infected Forest - North Carolina
Dead Hemlock - infected with HWA - North Carolina

HWA or Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has just been detected in South Western Nova Scotia.

If it progresses as it has in many parts of Eastern United States, our Nova Scotian Hemlock forests could disappear.

My audit of our forest last year : we have over 80 Hemlock trees over 80 inches in circumference (your fingers just barely touch if you wrap them around the tree at breast height).  One is 110 inches.  And thousands at a lesser size.  Not to be over dramatic, but it would be devastating to our tiny little part of the Nova Scotian forest.

Ron Neville is part of the response team for HWA in Nova Scotia and this is a summary of our conversation ...

You work for CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) ??? - we are responsible Canada's national plant protection and the spread of non-native species (like HWA).  We work closely with other groups like Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources and liaise with other groups like US States that have been affected by HWA.

Where are we? -- we have over 100 survey sites and in the summer of 2017, we found evidence of HWA in South Western Nova Scotia.  In one location, there was a pocket of dying trees.

What is the concern? -- HWA is extremely easy to spread.  It can be spread by the wind, by birds and the bigger concern -- wood transferred from one place to another such as firewood or saw logs.

Can we do anything to stop it? -- limit the movement of infected wood and there has been some success with spraying.  Also, there are beetles that feed on HWA and show promise.  And some trees have been injected.  If you have any pull with the weather gods ... a warm snap in the spring followed by a cold spell seems to help.

Harvest my Hemlock while they are still alive? -- it takes several years from the time of infestation until the tree is dead.  Also, some trees show resistance.  So liquidating would be premature.

I find it on my property, what happens? -- at this point we are trying to identify where it is.  We are not taking any active measures other that trying to control the spread of the disease.  (ie: if you sell logs from an infected area, there could be controls to prevent it's spread).  Also, if you find it on your property, there is a good chance it is all around you.

What's your message to woodlot owners?

  1. its coming
  2. keep an eye out for signs of infestation
  3. let us know if you find it - 902-536-1022

In the previous post, there is a description of what to look for.


Many thanks to Ron Neville - Plant Health Survey Biologist, Atlantic Area - Canadian Food Inspection Agency for helping me understand HWA and the consequences to my forest.
(902) 536-1022

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