View Full Version : Smokies Hemlock Adegid Article
09-09-2008, 08:13 PM
Pasted below is a link to an article on the Hemlock adelgid infestation in the Park.
09-09-2008, 08:39 PM
I saw quite a few of those trees infected with that on our last trip. I'm sure they have been there all the time but i really paid attention last time.
At least the park service is trying to combat it, although i think it's pretty much a funding problem. They have the stuff to treat the trees but not enough money. I believe that if you buy a certain shirt from the smokies online store it saves one tree. I'll try and find the link.
09-09-2008, 09:13 PM
It's more of a numbers and logistics problem. It isn't physically possible to treat even a high percentage of the infested hemlocks. The problem with the hemlock adelgid is that they kill the young trees as well as the mature trees. The adelgid that attacks the Frasier Firs only attacks larger trees, so they have a chance of regenerating if the insect numbers fall. I have seen hemlock adelgids on 3' tall saplings, and it doesn't take them long to kill a tree that size. The predator beetles are high maintenance, not easy to raise or transport. Their only hope is save a remnant population that can be protected by the beetles and insecticide. I can't imagine how much money and people power it would take to treat the majority of hemlocks that are found in the Park. I guess it isn't totally a lost cause, and I like to be positive about such things, but this will be a forest changing event that isn't reversible for quite some time, maybe never. Just like after the chestnuts were killed by the chestnut blight, the forest lived on, but with different species taking a dominant role. This can be the frustrating thing for a forester.
09-09-2008, 09:29 PM
I have been wondering what effect it will have on our streams. With less canopy, one would think that the stream temperature would go up, but by how much i don't know, maybe by a miniscule amount that wouldn't change a thing. Let's hope so.
09-09-2008, 09:50 PM
Ever since I first read about the adelgid infestation, I've made it a point to notice the condition of the hemlocks as I fish. Cosby is my home stream, and since I'm usually crashing through the brush to get to a good spot, I see a lot of the trees. It's to the point that a healthy tree is an exception, and as pineman noted, they don't spare the saplings - at least it takes longer for them to kill the older trees.
In the long run, as the article said, the infestation will run its course, and at least some stands of trees will survive - I doubt it will ever be like it was before the infestation. I imagine that, once other species fill the gaps, it will be hard for them to re-establish themselves. I have a few on my property in Cosby, too...unfortunately, I have neither the funds or the time to treat them individually.
09-12-2008, 10:06 AM
Does anyone know what the long term effect of this will be on fishing? I have been aware of it for a long time, but didn't really pay attention to it. I just hope the forest can recover and the fishing not decline. Does anyone know were this info can be found?
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