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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Evergreen Trees and Shrubs > Fir > Distorted or deformed needles

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Fir > Needles > Distorted or deformed needles

1 of 3
  • Balsam twig aphid 1
  • Balsam twig aphid 2
  • Balsam twig aphid 3

Balsam twig aphid
Mindarus abietinus

  • Twisted and curled needles at the end of shoots
  • Damaged needles may be whitish or silvery
  • Feeding produces honeydew which can glue needles together
  • Damage is mostly cosmetic
  • More information on Balsam twig aphid...
2 of 3
  • Growth regulator herbicide damage 1
  • Growth regulator herbicide damage 2
  • Growth regulator herbicide damage 3

Growth regulator herbicide damage
(e.g. 2,4D or MCPP)

  • Shoots may wilt or curl
  • Needles stunted, twisted or misshapen but remain green
  • If damage is severe, needles turn brown and fall off, branches may die
  • Symptoms occur a few days to several weeks after herbicide application
  • Dead or dying weeds expressing similar symptoms may be present nearby
  • More information on Growth regulator herbicide damage...
3 of 3
  • Balsam needle midge 1
  • Balsam needle midge 2
  • Balsam needle midge 3

Balsam needle midge
Paradiplosis tumifex

  • Galls appear in June as swelling near the base of individual needles
  • Galls initially green, and can turn needles yellow by mid-summer
  • Infested needles can die and drop off in autumn
  • Thin foliage, especially in upper crown; particularly apparent in small trees
  • Adults are tiny, orange and mosquito-like

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