Have you ever seen small white spots accumulate at the base of needles or buds on black pines? On other conifers? If so, you’ve likely seen adelgids.
See the small white spots just above the bud?
Adelgids are a cousin of sorts to aphids. They are also known as pine aphids or wooly conifer aphids as they occur on pine, spruce, fir and other conifers. I tend to first notice them at the base of pine needles and buds, but in the case of bad infestations, they can completely blanket needles, branches and bark along the trunk. The photos here show the very first signs of adelgid infestation – the best time to spray.
Signs of adelgids – possibly Pineus strobi
Adelgids on immature pine growth
Treatment is similar to treatments for aphids or scale. The idea is to start with something mild like contact oils or soaps, then move to contact or systemic pesticides only if the need arises. Maybe because they take up residence in somewhat sheltered areas of the tree, I find that several applications may be required to eradicate adelgids from the garden. Better to keep trees healthy and to provide good ventilation and sunlight to make trees less susceptible to infestation.
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