On April 25 I bought a Jean's Dilly dwarf Alberta spruce at Valley View Farms in Cockeysville. When I took it out of the pot, the rootball contained a lot of the white substance pictured in the attached photos. I called Valley View and spoke to Scott, a nursery manager, who checked other pots and found not only the white substance but what he said were insects.
He then called the wholesale nursery (Iseli in Boring OR) that shipped the plants and was told that the insects were harmless root aphids. As you know, root aphids aren't harmless. I called Iseli Nursery myself and was rudely told that they would not talk to an "end user." As a result, I called the Oregon Department of Agriculture and reported the problem to a Christy Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), who has promised to look into it.
I am very anxious to know what the problem is because of potential contact with my soil and the fact that the plant came from out of state. I could not see any aphids, but my eyesight is not that great. I did spot what looked like a tiny green insect as well as more of the white material, which penetrates deep inside the root ball.
Any help you can provide me in identifying the infestation and degree of harmfulness would be most appreciated. In term of identifying the insect, Scott at Valley View (410-527-0700) would be more helpful, as he has seen it.