We feel it is important to not only save as many trees as possible but also to conduct research to study the Woolly Adelgid infestation and its eradication. By getting GPS coordinants on every tree we treat we will be able to go back at any time in the future and check on the health of each treated tree.
There is a large need to do more in the way of educating landowners on the problems associated with ignoring the Woolly Adelgid. This can be seen by driving through once lush forests where the Woolly Adegid first presented itself in the Northeast corner of Rabun County Georgia.
Concerns over the loss of the hemlock trees along the trout streams and in our forests is of not only environmental concerns but economic concerns as well. Tourism is a major industry in the south and trout fishing and other outdoor activities in our forests are a big part of tourism.
We are very concerned about the future water quality issues such as soil erosion and rivers clogged with dead trees. These areas are the headwaters for all of the water source in the northern part of our state. Above and beyond the change in water temperature from the lack of shade due to the loss of the hemlocks, another major concern is the tannins that the trees will release into the rivers and streams creating future water quality problems.
We will continue to gather information, disseminate information and act as a conduit to spread the word regarding the importance of protecting and saving hemlock trees in the south and beyond.
We are fortunate to have the assistance of Mark Dalusky of UGS's Forest Entomology Department as our technical adviser. Mr. Mark Dalusky's Bio includes the following:
Mark Dalusky is a research professional in
the forest entomology project at the University of Georgia, Department of
Entomology. Current projects include rearing and releasing predators of the
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), which is destroying hemlocks from north Georgia
to Maine, and developing pheromone-based control tactics for southern pine
beetle infestations. Additional work includes comparing application techniques
for the two most important insecticide options for control of HWA, and
documenting the annual development (phenology) of HWA in Georgia. He has 28
years research experience at the state (Georgia, Colorado), Federal (USFS FHP,
Asheville) and University level, on a wide variety of operational control
projects of forest pests, particularly in the area of pest manipulation using
pheromones (within species chemical communication) and kairomones (between
species chemical communication).
Some have expressed concerns over using Forestry approved chemicals. Based on UGA's studies we recommend the injection method, where Mr. Dalusky reports the following "Regarding the needles, there is no report of leaching of imidacloprid from needles being a problem, The active ingredient is distributed in the actual tissue of the new shoots so the amount in the needles is not great to begin with. Then it takes several years before those treated needles fall and hit the water, and the active ingredients is still bound pretty tight to the organic carbon in the needle. Next, those high gradient streams (ie- swift water) whisk the needles away pretty quick so they never accumulate. Our study looked at 2 years of taking water samples and aquatic insect samples, and we never recovered any chemical from the water, NOR did we see any fluctuation in aquatic insects. I don't believe there is a problem with needle fall".