Invasive SpeciesHemlock wooly adelgid

Adelges tsugae
FOUND by 4-H Phenologist...
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Lisa C.
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
It is a sunny, warm day out and we are all happy because we just finished our lunches and had a very informative orientation by a Maine Forester, the Maine State Survey Coordinator, and an experienced volunteer. For this survey the large group broke up into smaller groups of about 7-8 people, all of which were led by an expert (either a forester or a trained volunteer). We all headed out into Ferry Beach State Park to survey the Hemlock trees. While on our walk through the park, we saw a picnic area, parking lot for the park, and a nice trail. While on our walk most Hemlocks were not found to be infested, but a small patch of young trees, 2 -4 feet tall, on both sides of the trail were found to have the Adelgids. I was surprised that such small trees would be so infested.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
We think we found Hemlock Woolly Adelgid because upon examination of the underside of the Hemlock branches, tiny white tufts were found at the base of the needles.
Photo of my evidence.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Adelges tsugae
Common name:
Hemlock wooly adelgid
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
We’re sorry, JavaScript is required to view the map. If JavaScript is you may wish to upgrade to a newer browser in order to view this map.
Map this species
N 43.475360 °
W -70.388051 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Coastal - Beach or dune
Trip Information
Ferry Beach State Park
Trip date: 
Wed, 2012-04-11 13:00
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey



That's so sad for the tree.

Maybe try to make your pictures more clear and in focus. (*☻-☻*)

Your sketch and pictures are great! I think I found HWA in Clifford Park in Biddeford but am unsure. Do you remember if some of the branches had limited fuzz evident? I found only 2 or 3 small white fuzz circles on one tree in the park and I am really unsure if it is really HWA. (I am hoping not!!) None of the surrounding trees had any fuzz either.

really good drawing, most groups didn't have that so it really made your entree really good!

It's really sad that hemlocks in Saco have been infected with Hemlock Wooly Adelgid I hope that Hemlocks in Portland don't get infected.

What did your group do after you found it? I am curious whether it has made it's way North of Saco yet? We are keeping tabs of our trees up here in Portland. Any ideas why the younger trees had it and not the older trees?

Our group went home to shower and change clothes! Nobody wanted to bring anything extra home. We all live in the Greater Portland area, so we definitely keep checking our trees.

As we mentioned below, we think one of the main reasons the little trees are infested is because of their closeness to the trail and how accessible they are to different vectors. They are sweet, little trees that anyone or anything could easily transfer an Adeglid to unknowingly. There may be a more scientific explanation, but that is our best guess so far.

How exactly do you think that it is transferred Do you think it is transferred through humans, bugs, etc.?

We learned that simply by brushing up against an infested tree an Adelgid could become stuck to your clothing, and then you could transfer it to a new host tree. Deer, dogs, all other sorts of animals can transfer the bugs as well. People can bring it in from out of state via firewood they bring with them for camping. I am sure there are other means as well!


Check out the Maine Forest Service's map of HWA on their Field Mission page to see HWA's reach north!

Great sketch and photos of HWA's white tufts.

I think it's interesting, too, that you found the adelgid on the smallest trees. Why do you think that is? Do you think the adelgid will spread to the larger trees?

These are only our best guesses, but we think that since the small trees are close to the trail, easy to walk around, and easy to handle, we believe that Adelgids would be easy to transfer via people and animals in the park.

Does anyone else have any ideas?

It was great to get outside with your group at the park. Thanks for putting the information into the Vital Signs website!

Thank you for all of your guidance and help during the survey! We hope to find no more of the Adelgids, but if we do it will definitely get posted.