Spruce Aphids

Shamrock Pines HOA Creekside

As many of you know, the Sitka spruce trees around Gearhart and our HOA have been hit hard this year from spruce aphids. The board has looked in to the possibility of homeowners or the board taking any proactive measures to limit the damage from the aphids.

Ashley Letora from the Oregon Department of Forestry spoke with me on the phone and answered questions I had regarding the aphids. She indicated that there really is not anything we can do for the large trees in the HOA and that it will be a waiting game hoping for better conditions to mitigate the aphid population.

Fertilizing is NOT recommended as the aphids actually prefer the nitrogen rich growth, and as the pamphlet she forwarded on indicates, the reason the aphids die off during the non-spring months is in part due to the lack of nitrogen rich growth.

Insecticides can be used, but are NOT recommended due to prohibitive costs (certainly a factor for the HOA), as well as the “impacts on non-targets”, possibly disrupting the rich ecosystem we are lucky enough to have in the HOA.

She also mentioned on the phone that she did not think watering the large trees would have much impact.

Action could be taken on the smaller ornamental trees some may have in their yards as the pamphlet below indicates.

I also have a request in with the OSU extension office for their new Master Forester to contact me after she comes on board in mid-July. I will let everyone know if she has any additional or conflicting advice.

Additional Information on the Spruce Aphid