Mission: Hemlock woolly adelgid
Where is the hemlock woolly adelgid? Where isn't it?
Allison Kanoti, Forest Entomologist, Maine Forest Service, encourages everyone spending time with hemlocks within 20 miles of the coast to look for the hemlock woolly adelgid.
2. Print an Upland Species Survey datasheet
3. Find a hemlock tree
4. Look at the undersides of the twigs on the last several year's growth for the woolly masses
5. Go to your My Vital Signs page (link at top right) to add your HWA "found" or "not found" observation
6. Check out the Change Over Time Analysis Mission to figure out how your observation fits and what it means
Why this Mission matters
The Maine Forest Service is actively surveying hemlock trees for hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). The map above shows where HWA has been detected as of January 2012. The 2010 map shows towns were HWA was looked for an not found by scientists and interns as of November 2010.
2010 was a banner year (or not) for finding HWA. The warm winter allowed populations to build to detectable levels in new locations. To date it has been found as far east as Georgetown - more than 40 miles east of the site in Saco that held the record for easterly detections in 2009.
You can help Allison and the Maine Forest Service by looking at the hemlocks in your neighborhood and adding your observations to the Vital Signs database.
Identification tips from Allison
- HWA is only found on hemlock trees
- Other things such as pitch and mealybugs may resemble HWA
- While you're looking at the twigs for HWA, keep an eye out on the undersides of the needles for elongate hemlock scale, a lesser known but equally damaging invasive insect. More information about both of these insects is provided by Maine Forest Service