Determining Potential Impact of Elongate Hemlock Scale on Shipped Christmas Trees into Florida
Cut Christmas trees are no longer living, and pests such as elongate hemlock scale (EHS) will eventually dry out and die. Preliminary research has indicated that crawlers, the only stage that can move to and infest a new host, emerge from infested branches for 35 to 40 days after harvest. After that, the material will no longer be able to transfer the pest to a new host. These observations were made with material that was immediately brought to room temperature and not stored as growers do during harvest. Most Christmas tree growers store their trees under shade outside where temperatures vary while a few palletize their trees and store them with refrigeration. A post‐harvest interval study has been funded through a Specialty Crops Block Grant submitted from NCSU by Dr. Robert Jetton. However, preliminary information that would be helpful to this study still needed to be conducted. Therefore, to support the Specialty Crops Block Grant, within tree and between tree variation in crawler release from cut Fraser fir trees and branches was conducted in 2019.