By Donna Shearer, Chairman Save Georgia’s Hemlocks
Now is the time to inspect your hemlock trees for signs of the hemlock woolly adelgid, the invasive insect that is killing them all across north Georgia, including in this county. [Anyone who is interested in learning more about saving their hemlocks is invited to sign up for a FREE training class taught by Save Georgia’s Hemlocks.
While the bugs themselves are smaller than a grain of pepper and very hard to detect, their bright white cottony egg sacs (about the size of a peppercorn) can be seen on the underside of the branches just where the needles attach to the branch.
If property owners see any egg sacs on their hemlocks, they should treat their trees immediately. Even if the egg sacs aren’t visible, property owners should plan to treat their hemlocks as soon as possible for two reasons.
The bugs could already be on your trees but up high where they would be difficult to see. Also, the infestation spreads rapidly so trees that aren’t already infested are likely to be soon.
The bad news is that once a tree becomes infested, the adelgids can kill it within 3 to 6 years. The good news is that even infested trees can be treated and saved. However, since the treatment can take several months to be fully effective in the tree, it’s a good idea to start the protection sooner than later.
The recommended treatment is application of a systemic chemical in the soil at the base of the tree by means of soil injection or soil drench. The tree takes up the material through its root system and distributes it throughout the tree tissue.
Then when the adelgids begin to suck the fluids from the needles, they will ingest the treatment material and die.
The process is easy enough for most property owners to do themselves, safe, economical, and highly effective, providing an average of 5 years of protection.
Save Georgia’s Hemlocks is a 100% volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of concerned citizens dedicated to preserving, conserving, and restoring endangered hemlocks through education and charitable service.
To learn more, please visit our web site www.savegeorgiashemlocks.org or call the Hemlock Help LineSM 706-429-8010.