Originally Posted by Dead Drifter
Hello everyone, I am new to the board, but I have been reading these posts and the fishing reports for many years. I live in Alpharetta, which is north of Atlanta, and have been fishing/camping in the GSMNP since I was a child. Over the last couple of years I have seen the park get slammed by the Hemlock Adelgid and it's concerning. I always try to gather information from park rangers and others about what is being done to protect the hemlocks, but never can get good information. Does anyone know the current status? What is being done? If what they are doing is working? What the short term and long term outlook is?
I have noticed in the last couple of years that the Red Spruce and Fraser Firs seem to be coming back. I haven't read anything that states this (and I very well might be wrong), but my girlfriend and I climbed Clingman's Dome and the top was covered in them. They all seemed to be the same age at about ten feet tall. What did the park do to combat the Balsam Wooly Adelgid?
Any information would be appreciated.
To answer in reverse, the park tried sprays and foam with th Balsm Wooly Adelgid but it was way too ineffective and way to expensive. So after short trials they just did nothing.
The park continues to fog areas like Cades Cove and other significant areas which is working but far too impractical for widespread use. They have released natural predator insects but this is also just a mitigation not a solution. I believe before it's all said and done there will be many dead hemlocks.
One good defense is that hemlocks grow near water so that aids in their ability to defend themselves. It's like the southern pine beetle from 2000-2004 east Tennessee lost ~75% of all yellow pine. Insects are a hard beast to fight.
In the end trees are our greatest renewable resource. If they die the insects will leave and the trees will grow back.