Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

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Will Blozan
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Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by Will Blozan » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:33 pm

NTS,

My company has recently been hired to climb hemlocks treated with insecticides to combat hemlock woolly adlegid. The trees were treated 5-7 years ago with one soil drench dosage of imidacloprid. We are collecting 13 foliar samples per tree from the terminal leader down to the lowest live crown. The samples will be analyzed by University fo Tennessee Knoxville for insecticide or metabolite concentrations as well as current HWA infestation.

The goal of the project is to assess the residual efficacy of prior treatments in order to better define minimal dosages and maximum time between return intervals. The idea is to find out how little product can be used and how long before another treatment is needed. The study not only spans the verticality of the crown but is also looking at differing diameter classes, dosage rates, and timing. This study will be incredibly useful in determining the best possible plan for the continued and future preservation of eastern hemlock forests. It will help land managers save many thousands of trees and dollars while minimizing expenses and maximizing success. A win/win situation for all parties!

We have just completed the first wave of climbs; 138 trees on four different sites. In a given day a climber would climb 6-11 trees and log 500-900 feet of ascent. We did go as high as we could to get near the terminal leader so great views were common. Here are some shots from the project.
Cosby rainforest
Cosby rainforest
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The first day near Cosby, TN was nasty cold and rainy. We set up tarps for the foliar processing and shelter. Naturaly, the climbers had no shelter and the hemlocks dripped into the next day...
Healthy grove
Healthy grove
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Arborist view of the treatment site- note healthy green hemlocks. Untreated trees were stone dead.
Nick in top
Nick in top
Nick Smith in top of large hemlock. This was his first tall tree climb- he did great!
Nick's tree
Nick's tree
Nick and his big tree.
Jason top
Jason top
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Jason Childs in a very healthy top with Smokies behind.
Three aloft
Three aloft
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At a site near Walland, TN we all got to climb adjacent trees at the same time. Nice- since some sites had trees 1/2 mile apart!
Horny bull
Horny bull
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Here is Jason with his eye on an approaching bull. This bull, we had been warned by the local farmer, was distraught at being pulled from his harem to "rejuvenate". He was grumpy and mean so we had to stay clear. Fortunately he remained far from us and the truck...
Awesome sky
Awesome sky
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The sky was stunning at the end of the day.
Nick crossing
Nick crossing
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The last site was across a large creek. It was too deep and swift to risk crossing with heavy gear- let alone 35 bags of samples! So Nick "took one for the team" and waded across so we could set up a traverse to shuttle gear and people.
Gear
Gear
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First the gear...
nick
nick
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people
people
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Then the people.
witches broom
witches broom
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One of the trees I climbed had witches broom in it- I had never seen it upclose before. Really bizarre!
Jason and giants
Jason and giants
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Jason in another tree at the last site. This area was older than the others and had some really impressive white pine mixed in. Hemlocks here hit ~ 130' tall- pines maybe 160'.
Healthy
Healthy
DAMN IT'S NICE TO CLIMB HEALTHY HEMLOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will

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Chris
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:52 pm

Re: Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by Chris » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:40 pm

It is great to see there are still a few living hemlocks left in the Smokies.

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eliahd24
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:17 pm

Re: Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by eliahd24 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Very nice to seem some healthy ones, but the contrast with the dead ones is stark. Good job Will. This study sounds great and extremely useful.

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pdbrandt
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Re: Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by pdbrandt » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:35 pm

Will, Nick, Jason, et al

Nice work and great pictures! Seeing healthy hemlocks and hearing about this project gives me hope for the future of the species. How many days did it take to climb all the desired trees? 500+ feet of vertical ascent per day is a memorable accomplishment any day, let alone day after day!

Will, I like your new profile picture ;)
Patrick

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dbhguru
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Re: Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by dbhguru » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:09 pm

Will,

You da man, buddy. You da man. Great pics, great information, inspiring story.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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jamesrobertsmith
Posts: 906
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:32 am

Re: Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:07 pm

Excellent. I can't add anything that everyone else hasn't already said. Thanks for your hard work!

greenent22
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:23 am

Re: Hemlock crown sampling for UT study, GSMNP

Post by greenent22 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:00 am

jamesrobertsmith wrote:Excellent. I can't add anything that everyone else hasn't already said. Thanks for your hard work!
+1000

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