treating the Hearts Content hemlocks for HWA

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treating the Hearts Content hemlocks for HWA

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:36 am ... -pest.html

Warren Times Observer
Friday, June 17, 2016

Forest Service working to protect 'old growth' hemlocks from pest


In order to fight the hemlock woolly adelgid, the U.S. Forest Service is trying to be proactive, especially when there are trees over 400 years old involved.

"This area is valuable," said Forest Silviculturist Andrea Hille about Hearts Content Recreation Area. "This is all old growth. Some of these trees are 300 to 400 years old."

Those are young trees, Hille said, noting that hemlocks can live 800 to 900 years.

With the pest that will kill the hemlocks found in the area, Hille said the Forest Service is getting ahead of the insect at Hearts Content by starting insecticide treatment now.

Imidacloprid, a common insecticide, is injected into the soil around the trees with the use of a gravity pack, said Forecon Forest Resource Specialist Shane Somerville. Forecon is the company handling the treatment, Hille said, and has worked with the Forest Service before.

"It's used in things like flea collars," said Hille.

Because the trees are so large, Hille and Somerville said the treatment can take two to three years to reach to top of the trees, which is part of the reason to be proactive.

The insecticide is injected at a rate of one ounce per inch around the tree, about six to 12 inches from the trunk. For a tree with a 43-inch diameter, that means 43 injection sites and 43 ounces of insecticide.

Somerville said there is a limit of 1,600 ounces of insecticide permitted in the area per year, which limits the number of trees that can be treated.

Hille said the goal is to treat 440 trees this year at Hearts Content. The funding for the project comes from state and private branches meant for insects, Hille said.

The insecticide isn't the long-term goal. While the treatment has to be repeated about every seven years, Hille said there are studies being conducted to identify other insects to eat the aldegid with minimal issues. She said there are beetles that only eat the adelgid. Pennsylvania's winters also help to control adelgid growth and population.
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

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Will Blozan
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Re: treating the Hearts Content hemlocks for HWA

Post by Will Blozan » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:35 pm

This is great but I have a suspicion PA is getting reamed ($$) for these treatments...

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