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Author Topic: Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Update  (Read 4512 times)
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« on: March 05, 2008, 08:30:26 PM »

Forest Hilyer and the Lumpkin Coalition provide the following information:

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, the invasive insect that is killing our hemlock trees, is now hatching out across North Georgia.  In one year, one bug can produce as many as 90,000 offspring.  In as few as two to three years, your hemlocks can die.  But there are steps you can take to prevent this calamity.

First, be on the lookout for the insects.  During the months of March through June, the “crawlers” are active and most easily seen on the underside of Hemlock branches.  They look like tiny cotton balls at the base of the needles.

Second, be careful not to spread them.  These destructive little creatures are highly skilled hitchhikers that take advantage of passing animals, birds, and people alike.  So take care not to rub against an infested tree, especially with fleece-like material.  Always wash your outdoor clothing immediately upon return from possibly infested areas. Remember, if you walk your dog in the woods, your pet can provide a ride as well!

If you have a few small trees (up to eight feet tall), you can spray them with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or any insecticide that kills aphids.  These chemicals are available at most hardware stores.  Be sure to coat the whole tree, including the underside of all limbs and leaves.  The best times to treat them are April to June and October.

If you have just a few large trees on level ground, you may use Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub insect control as a soil drench.  This product is available at most hardware stores.  Follow the directions on the label carefully.

If you have many large trees and want to keep your costs down, you may borrow a Kioritz Soil Injector from the Forestry Commission in these counties: Lumpkin, Union, Habersham, and Towns.  You will have to pay a $250 refundable deposit, and staff members will show you how to use the injector and tell you where you can purchase the chemicals for it.

If you and your neighbors want to join forces to protect large numbers of trees, you may call Scott Griffin, the Forestry Commission’s Forest Health Specialist.  He will come to your group and provide training on how to use the injector and how to plan your preservation efforts.  Scott can be reached at 770-531-6043.

If you have limited time and/or want to avoid handling the chemicals involved in treatment, you may call a professional.  There are two individuals in North Georgia who do this kind of work at a reasonable cost and are willing to travel to your property: Kevin Johnson of Grow It Green in Blue Ridge at 866-883-2420 and Mark Shearer in Dahlonega at 706-864-478 {Names of persons offering professional services are provided for information purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by the Georgia Botanical Society.}.  These individuals will inspect your trees and give you an estimate for treating them.  They will also advise you on when you will need to re-treat your trees, since the chemicals are effective only for up to three years.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 08:33:50 PM by Rich » Logged

Rich Reaves
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