Tag Archives: pests

Don’t Move Firewood

Westchester county offers so many beautiful outdoor activities and attractions, especially during the fall time!  Whether you are hitting the trails and camping, or enjoying a late-summer fire in the backyard, it’s important that you use firewood from the area.  Moving firewood is more dangerous to your local eco-system than you think; here’s why you shouldn’t move firewood.

Firewood Westchester Tree Life 4

Don’t Move Firewood!  Here’s Why:

Did you know that tree-threatening pests and diseases can lurk in firewood?  Though these insects and diseases are limited to how far they can travel on their own, the moving of firewood can transmit them to other forests and properties.  By using firewood from the immediate area, you are limiting what pests and diseases are being spread.  View the list of pests that could be spread from the moving of firewood.

If You Are Camping . . .

Firewood Westchester Tree Life 5

 

A safe camping trip extends beyond bringing mosquito repellent and hiking gear!  Refrain from bringing firewood with you on your camping trip, hunting trip or RV adventure this fall.  This works both ways, as bringing firewood home from your campsite can be just as harmful.  Instead of bringing firewood with you, buy it where you will burn it!  Learn more from Don’t Move Firewood here.

Don't Move Firewood

How Far Is Too Far to Move Firewood

Firewood Westchester Tree Life 2

Firewood should not be moved more than 50 miles maximum; ideally finding firewood to burn within ten miles of where you plan to burn it is the key.  If you are unsure as to whether you are transporting your firewood too far, stop; don’t risk the spreading of possible pests and diseases!  Instead, try to purchase your firewood in from a local source.  Here are more tips as to what you can do to stop the transportation of firewood.

Firewood Westchester Tree Life 3

 

August is Tree Check Month

Did you know August is Tree Check Month?  August is the peak time of year for the Asian longhorned beetle (also known as the ALB) to be found in your trees!  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is asking for your help to find and eliminate the ALB, which is a harmful and invasive pest.

Heavily Infested Maple Tree

Heavily ALB Infested Maple Tree in Massachusetts

ALB Infestation

About the Asian Longhorned Beetle

Long Horned Beetle Westchseter Tree Life

The Asian longhorned beetle is easily identifiable; they have long black and white antennae, six (possibly) light blue legs and a body which is black with white spots and an inch and a half long.  Once you identify your first ALB, you might notice that they also can be found in your pool filters, on walls, outdoor furniture, cars and sidewalks.Westchester Tree Life

While these beetles are slow to spreading on their own during the early stages of an infestation, containing the infestation is critical.  The most common way to spread an ALB infestation is through moving fireword (which we urge the Westchester community not to do).

Reporting the Asian Longhorned Beetle

USDA Logo

What to do if you see signs of the ALB (via USDA):

  • Make note of what you found, where you saw it and take a photo, if possible.
  • Try to place the beetle in a container and freeze it for easy identification by the USDA.
  • Report findings by calling 1-866-702-9938

About the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

How much do you know about the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid?

In New England, hemlock trees play an important ecological role.  They are important for limiting erosion along stream beds and provide food and shelter for deer and other wildlife.  The hemlock is valued as an ornamental tree as well as a source of lumber.  Unfortunately, hemlock trees are vulnerable to infestation by a pest called the Wooly Adelgid.

Wooly Adelgid

Wooly Adelgid

The Wooly Adelgid is a destructive insect that was accidentally introduced to the United States from Japan.  Wooly Adelgid infestations have been noted from Georgia to Massachusetts and can have drastic effects on hemlock populations.  Trees infested with the Wooly Adelgid become desiccated and typically die within ten years.  Specimens that survive the pest are often so weakened that they eventually die of secondary causes.  Westchester County’s tree care professionals, Westchester Tree Life want to keep your trees safe!

"Adelges tsugae 3225077" by Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Archive, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station / © Bugwood.org. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 us via Commons -

“Adelges tsugae 3225077” by Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Archive, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station / © Bugwood.org. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 us via Commons –

Wooly Adelgid infestations can be identified by the presence of the insect’s egg sacs.  These sacs look like fluffy tufts of cotton clinging to the underside of the hemlock’s branches.  Infested branches change from a healthy dark green color to a paler greyish-green shade.  This pest reproduces asexually and in North America can have two generations a year.  The Wooly Adelgid feeds on the hemlock’s sap and probably injects a toxin into the tree while feeding.  This results in a loss of needles and a lack of new growth.

There are a few options for addressing an infestation of the Wooly Adelgid.  Insectcides that are sprayed on the tree, injected into the tree, or applied to the soil around the tree can be effective in treating individual trees.  This sort of treatment will remain effective for two or three years.  However, such treatments can only be used when there is no risk of the insecticide contaminating nearby bodies of water.

Another option is use a non-toxic insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.  These products are applied to the hemlock’s affected foliage and work by smothering the pests.  Trees treated in this manner will need to be retreated annually.

When multiple hemlock trees are affected by the Wooly Adelgid, a biological approach to eradicating the pest may be best.  The Wooly Adelgid can be controlled by introducing a natural predator to the area.  There are two beetles that feed on the Wooly Adelgid and are highly effecting at keeping the pest’s numbers at a manageable level.  These are P. tsugae, a black lady beetle, and the larva of the L. nigrinus.  Releasing these beetles into areas where Wooly Adelgids threaten the health of hemlock trees has proven to be an effective and safe method of control.

P. tsugae and L. nigrinus

P. tsugae and L. nigrinus

If you have hemlock trees on your property and suspect they are infested by the Wooly Adedgid, contact Westchester Tree Life today for a consultation.  We can examine your trees and advise you on the best way to eradicate this pest in your unique situation.