You may spot white tree fuzz during late fall. No, this is not snow, which should be apparent since the Seattle area doesn’t see a whole lot of snow. The fuzz is especially common among the needles and branches of evergreens. We’ll explain what this is and whether it’s a cause for alarm.
Many people believe the cottony fuzz is a form of fungus. No, it’s not fungus. Believe it or not, it’s actually a bug called the hemlock woolly adelgid. Unfortunately, this is not one of those beneficial insects that pollinate your garden. This is a pest, and you need to alert an emergency tree service.
As its name implies, hemlock woollies inhabit hemlock firs. While they’re more prevalent in the East Coast, they’re also found in the Pacific Northwest as well.
This pest is actually a tiny black bug, but has a coat of waxy white “fur.” They’re a form of pest because they feed off the tree’s sap. As this happens, you may notice discoloration in the leaves or leaves that drop early. If left untreated, the tree may eventually die. When removing dead trees, we often bet the premature death of hemlock firs was due to an infestation of the woollies.
As a preventive measure, you can apply horticultural oil starting early winter or spring. This kills the woolly and most other invasive pests. A tree service can also inject an insecticide into the soil to protect the tree.
Call Pro-Cut Tree Service if you suspect an infestation. Other pests, such as aphids and the maple scale, also have bodily fuzz. We’ll determine the origin of your white tree fuzz and take appropriate measures.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area