Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership to Offer Assistance to Landowners
- September 13 workshop will train landowners to protect hemlocks from invasive pest -
NASHVILLE – A small aphid-like insect has been devastating majestic hemlock trees in eastern Tennessee and the Cumberland Mountains. 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 themselves.
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, September 13 at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Van Buren County. Treatment location at park and directions will be provided to all who register for the workshop.
“Many woodland owners I’ve talked to 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 them to chemically treat and save their hemlocks until a long-term control is established,” Heather Slayton, Forest Health Unit Leader with the Tennessee Division of Forestry said.
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 if left untreated. 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 and economy.
The workshop is open to anyone interested and will be held on Saturday, September 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Van Buren County. During the workshop, the group will save hemlocks on site. Topics to be covered are: current treatment methods, overview of biological controls of HWA, management strategies for private landowners and information about the Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and ask questions to state and federal agency staff who are managing hemlock woolly adelgid on public lands.
Registration is required for the free workshop by September 5 by contacting Heather Slayton with Tennessee Division of Forestry at (615) 837-5432 or Heather.Slayton@tn.gov. A block of rooms has been reserved for those needing overnight accommodations. Long-sleeved shirt, long pants and close toed shoes with socks are required to participate in applying chemical for the voluntary afternoon treatment. All other equipment and supplies will be provided. The afternoon portion of the workshop will be held entirely outdoors, so attendees should be prepared for an outdoor setting. Pesticide applicator points and Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) credits will be available for participating attendees.
Led by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry, this Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership workshop will also include staff from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. Other partners include the USDA Forest Service and UT Extension.
For information about Tennessee’s forest pests including hemlock woolly adelgid please visit: www.protecttnforests.org.
For more information about other programs and services of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture visit www.tn.gov/agriculture.