What's the big deal about Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA)?
  • it doesn't have any predators so once established there's no natural controls
  • it spreads very easily -- by wind, birds and humans
  • it has a track record of wiping out entire Hemlock forests

What does it mean for Nova Scotia? (updated July 2022)
  • HWA is well established in the seven western counties
  • die back is occurring in the areas first affected
  • the trend is clear -- our hemlock are in trouble

Why should I care about Hemlock?
  • it has some commercial value
  • it is our oldest living tree and very important to the forest
  • it sequesters lots and lots and lots of carbon
  • hugely important for stabilizing waterways by slowing water flow
  • if you fish ... it shades streams and rivers to keep the water cooler and healthier for fish
  • if you hunt ... hemlock groves are important habitat for wintering deer
  • if you are a naturalist ... important nesting habitat for birds

What can I do?

  • Early detection means there are more options for dealing with it.  If you see a snowy, cotton-like growth on Hemlocks anywhere in the province, try and get a picture and email hwa@nshemlock.ca  
  • HWA is inside the cotton-like growth and it is very small -- about the size of a pencil dot -- so you probably won't see it.  From April to August, HWA start to move about and if it gets on you, your gear or your pets, it can be carried to a new location.  If you travel in areas known to have HWA, please take precautions to prevent the spread by cleaning your gear.  A lint brush works well
  • Please do not move firewood.  If you go camping, acquire your firewood where you burn it

More information

  • New resource for Hemlock health in Nova Scotia - nshemlock.ca
  • Concise information on HWA from the Canadian Invasive Species Centre is [ here
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agencies plan for HWA is [ here
  • A Scientific Journal article on HWA [ here