Focused efforts to save hemlocks showing promise

Good news on the hemlock front — the U.S. Forest Service reports it has had some success in ongoing efforts to protect these trees from the hemlock woolly adelgid.

The non-native invasive insect has killed thousands of hemlocks in the Southern Appalachians.

Treatments include soil injection of insecticides containing the active ingredients imidacloprid and dinotefuran, both of which have proved effective in reducing adelgid populations. Predatory beetles have been released in several areas across the two national forests in the region — Nantahala and Pisgah — with additional species of beetles studied as options by partner researchers and universities. An adelgid-killing fungus applied through aerial spray is also being considered.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Working Group includes the National Forests in North Carolina, USFS Forest Health Protection, Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, WildLaw, Western North Carolina Alliance, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, a local arborist, and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

For more information about these hemlock conservation efforts, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc and search on the keyword “hemlock.”

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