Hemlock trees, a keystone species in northern forests, provide food, shelter and shade to wildlife across the region. Hemlocks are threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a small, aphid-like insect that feeds on starch in hemlock twigs. Vermont has implemented a biological control program to keep the populations of HWA down. This tiny bug is currently in southern Vermont but has the potential to move north as it has been spotted in sections of central New York and New Hampshire.
Look at the underside of hemlock branches for small, white, cottony balls lined up along the twigs. Most new detections come from residents and visitors reporting suspect trees. Get close to a hemlock, and if you see this pest, REPORT IT at vtinvasives.org.