Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hemlock Scale

Another busy week in the garden – pruning, dead heading and clean up. The new garden is finished. I’ll get back to that story next time.

The needles on our 65 ft. hemlocks have been turning brown and dropping off. I would hate to lose these trees. They provide shade and privacy for our deck. Birds nest and twitter in them all summer. Squirrels leap from branch to branch. They make me feel like I’m sitting in a cool shady forest.

This isn’t a problem we could handle ourselves so we called a tree care professional. The trees have hemlock scale. The scales can be seen on the back of the needles as tiny brown dots. According to Penn State Department of Entomology, “Scales injure host plants by inserting their threadlike, piercing-sucking mouthparts into needles and withdraw vital nutrients necessary for plant growth from mesophyll cells.”

The trunk was sprayed with Pentra Bark/Merit solution from the base of the trunk to about 6 feet up the bark. The insecticide will go through the tree’s vascular system to kill the scale.

It seemed like the most environmentally friendly way to save the trees. They have become old friends over the past 35 years. I hope the trees will continue live next to our deck for a long time.



Kathy said...

Beautiful tree!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Wow! Such little creatures could damage giant trees! I'm glad your trees got help!

Marie said...

Thank you ksr and Tatyana. I hope I see improvement in these big trees next spring.

donna said...

Hemlocks are among my favorite trees. When we lived at the lake, just 50 miles north of here, we had them growing everywhere. So tall and majestic. I used to walk with the dog through a huge hemlock forest. I wish your trees well. They do, indeed, become like old friends.

Marie said...

Thanks for the well wishes, Donna. I'm hoping for a good outcome for my own little hemlock forest.