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 sacs on Hemlocks anywhere in the province, try and get a picture and email email@example.com
- while you can find the sacs anytime, they are most easily seen from late November and peaking in size in March just before the babies hatch
- In April once the weather warms up, HWA babies called "crawlers" start to move. There can be a lot of them! And if they get on you, your gear or your pets, they can be carried to a new location starting a new infestation
- If you travel in areas known to have HWA, please take precautions to prevent the spread by cleaning you, your gear and your pets. A lint brush works well.
- Please do not move firewood which could have bugs hiding on the bark. If you go camping, please acquire your firewood where you burn it