Spruce Trees Losing Needles – Sawfly Emergency

Yellow-headed sawfly are attacking spruce trees right now.

If something is eating the needles on your Spruce, you have Sawfly.

These voracious eaters strip needles from spruce, and those needles will NEVER grow back. In three years, they can kill a tree. If your spruce is under attack DO NOT PRUNE the stripped branches. The bud at the tip is still alive, and will produce new needles next Spring which will disguise the damage.

The adult sawfly – a tiny, non-stinging wasp

The adult stage of sawfly, Pikonema alaskensis, is a small, non-stinging wasp. It’s young, the larvae, are what is eating your spruce.

Sawfly larva starting to devour a new needle

They’re hard to detect at first, because they take on the colour of the needles they eat as camouflage. Look for them carefully though, as waiting until you see damage can result in this:

A healthy tree can end up like this very quickly

If your spruce is infested, WE CAN KILL THEM, starting as low as $89.95 + tax. Give us a call right away!

Your best defence is to be proactive. Watch for damage or larvae throughout June. If you find only a few larva, and you only have a few trees, you may be able to take care of them yourself.

You can just pull this pest off with your fingers

Look for the larvae at the tips of the needles. They can be picked off with your fingers if there are only a couple.

If you have many trees, and still a light infestation, a pressure-sprayer loaded with a mix of 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of *plain liquid dish soap in 4 l (1 gallon) of water can be used to blast them off temporarily.  Call LawnSavers if you need our help managing this destructive pest!
*NOTE: This is not advised for “BLUE Spruce” trees a the tree will lose its blue colour.   Insecticidal soap will also cause Blue Spruces to lose their Blue colour.

The sawfly only has one breeding cycle a year, so get them quickly and have peace of mind!  This is a treatment that may have to be done for several years in a row, until the infestation in the neighbourhood declines.

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