Hemlock Conservation Partnership Offers Free Help for Private Landowners
March 16 workshop will train landowners to treat their own hemlocks.
Nashville, TN | February 26, 2013
A small aphid-like insect has been devastating majestic hemlock trees in eastern Tennessee. Treatments exist to protect these long-lived, tall evergreens. Now private landowners will have an opportunity to learn how to treat and protect their shady hemlock trees.
The Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership will teach the region’s private landowners how to obtain and apply the necessary chemical treatments to fight hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), the insect that threatens hemlocks. A free workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 at The Nature Conservancy’s preserve in Morgan County on the Obed River. The location is in the Frankfort community, off Highway 298. Directions will be provided to all who register for the workshop.
Native to Asia but now living in the eastern U.S., hemlock woolly adelgid is a small aphid-like insect that feeds at the base of hemlock needles and can kill hemlocks in as few as three years.
Hemlocks are slow-growing, long-lived evergreens that provide dense shade that keeps forests and streams cool throughout much of eastern Tennessee, provide important fish and wildlife habitat, and contribute to the state’s scenic beauty. It has been estimated that loss of hemlocks from private property can decrease property value by up to 20 percent, not to mention the cost of removal of large dead trees. HWA has been found in several counties on the Cumberland Plateau, including Morgan County, and is moving westward.
“Tennessee citizens are very worried about the fate of their hemlock trees on their property. Our partnership is hopeful that we can provide the assistance that is needed for private landowners to chemically treat and save their hemlocks until a long-term control is established,” said Douglas Godbee, Forest Health Forester with Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry.
Private land conservation of hemlocks in Tennessee is important to ensuring preservation of Tennessee’s hemlock forests. In the Cumberland Plateau and Mountains, the Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership estimates that there are 67,620 acres of forest with a substantial hemlock component on private lands. On public lands, the partnership estimates there are 78,849 acres of forest with substantial hemlock component.
The workshop is open to anyone interested and will be held on Saturday, March 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT at a Nature Conservancy preserve in Morgan County along the Obed River in the Frankfort community. During the workshop, the group will save hemlocks at the site as well. Specific topics to be covered are: background of HWA, complete hands-on training with tips and tricks, treatment options for do-it-yourself or contracting the work, contacts for purchasing chemicals, as well as the opportunity to meet state and federal agency staff who are combating the HWA on public lands.
Staff from Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry will be leading the workshop. Partners from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Park Service will also be in attendance to assist alongside the public. The workshop will qualify attendees for pesticide points and Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) points (4.0 hours - Cat 1), all generally needed by government employees and environmental professionals.
Please register for the workshop by March 11th by contacting Douglas Godbee with Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry at (865) 318-1371 or Douglas.Godbee@tn.gov. Please bring your lunch and drinks, wear long pants, bring a long sleeved shirt and wear close toed shoes with socks. All other equipment and supplies will be provided. The workshop will be held entirely outdoors, so please dress for the weather.
The Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership encompasses staff from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. The group is also receiving technical assistance from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the U.S. Forest Service.
The workshop is free to attendees. Please bring your own sack lunch and drinks. For information about Tennessee’s forest pests including hemlock woolly adelgid please visit: www.protecttnforests.org.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.