And Then There's This

Isn't this a beautiful tree? We planted this one in 1998, soon after moving in. It's a Weeping White Pine (we do like our Weepers, don't we?) and it looks so grand and healthy......until I looked at it closely after moving a sprinkler recently. Maybe I'm just a little more aware after already having to take one out.

I saw some white fluffy spots on some needles, kind of webby looking. Then I looked at the trunk and was horrified, it was coated white. I came running in with gross white stuff all over my hands and showed my husband.

We both started searching the internet to figure out what it was. He found it first--Pine Bark Adelgid. I can't even pronounce the last word, but basically kind of like an aphid that feeds on mostly White Pines.

Both winged and non-winged babies are born and the winged creatures take off to find a new tree to attack and the non-winged stick around to have more kids which suck the life out of your tree. It's really not all that harmful but left alone, it would probably kill it. I have no idea how long they have been there but by the looks of it, I think it's been awhile. How could I have not seen this earlier? It just makes me sick.

The only treatment I could find is to use dormant oil in the fall or summer oil in the spring/summer. It basically smothers them. But I also read that dormant oil will harm Japanese Maple which is right next to this one. So for now we just decided to blast it with water, another suggestion.

On the hottest day of the year so far (106), Hubby and I took a ladder and hose to task to wash this tree down. It came off real easy and with any luck the little non winged creatures won't find their way back up the tree. We'll keep at it on a regular basis and hopefully save this one.


Grumpy said…
It would be a shame to lose it. Hope your treatment works. Is there nothing that will kill the critters?
kden said…
Just the oils is all I could find.
Valerie said…
Looks like you have your work cut out to get rid of this problem. Good luck.
Valerie said…
Looks like you have your work cut out to get rid of this problem. Good luck.

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