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Plants

Nature Notes

Save Our Hemlocks

NATURE NOTES: 10 February 2017

By Ken Czarnomski, VP of the Blue Ridge Naturalist Network

At first glance, the magnificent Eastern (Tsuga canadenis) and Carolina hemlocks (Tsuga caroliniana) seem to be losing their ongoing fight to survive the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid (or HWA) Adelges tsugae, which feasts only on them. This aphid, less than 1/32 inch (about the size of a poppy seed), has managed to dramatically increase its rate of infestation in the last decade. Read more

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Our Hemlocks can be Saved!

BRNN presents “Save the Hemlocks” on Tuesday Feb. 21, 2017
5:30-7:00 pm
West Asheville Library

Our native Eastern and Carolina Hemlocks are being ravaged by a tiny non-native insect: the hemlock woolly adelgid. Margot Wallston and Sara deFossett, of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, will describe how the organization is taking steps to help the trees resist the adelgids and survive to maturity, eventually restoring health and vitality to damaged forest ecosystems.

 

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Can we Save our Hemlocks?

—Photo courtesy of Margot Wallston

When you gaze out at our mountains in the winter, the magnificent dark green stands of Eastern and Carolina Hemlocks used to stand out against the winter browns of decidous trees. However, as many of us have observed, these trees seem to be losing the battle with the invasive wooly adelgid (HWA) –  a tiny aphid about the size of a poppy seed that suck the sap from new shoots. Foresters estimate that nearly 80% of our southern hemlocks may already have been killed by this tiny insect.  Infected trees are easy to spot from the white cottony egg sacs that cling to the smallest twigs. Read more

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