The Value of Christmas Trees

"...there is no reason why the joy associated with the Christmas evergreen may not be a means of arousing in the minds of children an appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees; and keen appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees is a long stop toward the will to plant and care for them (Arthur Sowder, US Forest Service, 1949)."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Some June Pests

Went out last week and found several June pests that might be of interest to folks.

Elongate hemlock scale. Scales are making their way onto the new growth. If you treated this year in the spring, or sometime last year, and you aren't seeing the scales get on 2010 growth, that means you have pretty good control. This is a photo of scales on 2010 growth.

At this particular field, the grower had treated with Asana + Dimethoate with his mistblower before bud break this spring. Though there was still live scale, it hadn't spread to new trees, so we counted the treatment as a success, since it was far less expensive than spraying with a high pressure sprayer. The grower was going to cut out the worst trees for scale (he'd have a hard time selling them anyway), and will retreat in a few days with his mistblower while the crawler number is at its peak. Hopefully that may also give him twig aphid control next year.

Balsam woolly adelgid. Woolies have also moved onto the 2010 growth. This photo is of nymphs already on the new growth. There is already swelling too. These will molt in place to the adult within the next month and start laying more eggs.

This particular block of trees had been treated with dimethoate in the spring. No control of woollies. The grower will spray with Talstar sometime this fall.

White pine cone beetle. The pine cone beetle is an infrequent pest of Fraser fir, borrowing into usually the first whirl of branches and making a shepherd's crook. Sometimes you can still find the black beetle in the tree. The two photos are of the entrance hole and then of the beetle. These pictures were taken in Ashe County last Friday. I haven't seen any of these pests for several years. They are usually only a problem when there aren't many white pine cones, which are their preferred food. When you find them, they have already caused as much damage as they are going to, so they are only a novelty and nothing to worry about. Shearing will take care of the problem. Bryan found these. Jerry Washington was the first one to find them years ago.

Leaf footed seed bug. The last interesting bug Bryan also found on a Fraser fir cone in some Christmas trees. I think it is a leaf footed seed bug that will feed on Fraser fir cones. You never know what you'll find in a tree field!

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