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Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

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  • #16
    my apologies, i had a typo in the link. it has some nice pictures and info about a pocket of old growth that i believe has some of the tallest trees for the respective species (including hemlock) in MA and new england.

    i should also say that i meant the high peaks region, not just the adirondacks. i was referring to the owl's head lookout trail. this and the RBF trail to giant are the only hemlock stands i can think of on trails that lead to high peaks. i'm sure DSettahr can correct me on this one!

    whether or not they are true old growth or not, hemlocks are a tree that definitely give off (to me at least) an old growth 'feel' because of the characteristics of the understory.
    Last edited by greatexpectations; 12-13-2021, 03:52 PM.


    • #17

      Not the easiest map to read TBH.

      Again I'm surprised by the data. Looks like around Sacandaga Lake, south of Schroon and west of Lake George has some of the highest density in the state.

      You can see it's zero in the high elevations of the High Peaks. They don't grow beyond a certain elevation and I think the black spruce or balsam fir, or both, take their place.


      • #18
        Yeah, the Lake George area/Lake Champlain valley has a lot of hemlock. I know there's lots of it in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.

        Hemlock is not super prolific in the High Peaks (due to the elevation) but there's stands of it in a few spots. The Keene Valley vicinity is one place I'd look for it- I'm fairly certain that there's a fair amount of it in the lower stretches of the Johns Brook Valley (from the Garden up through to JBL). Similarly, I'm reasonably certain there's some in the lower portions of the AMR, as well as on the Boquet herd path approaches into the Dix Range.

        I'd be fairly shocked if there weren't any hemlocks along the eastern approach to Rocky Peak Ridge.

        I know for a fact that the eastern slopes of the Dix Range- so the extreme eastern portion of the High Peaks Wilderness where it slopes down to I-87- has some fairly substantial stands of hemlock. If you can figure out how to access the area, there's some really nice bushwhacking to be had in beautiful areas of dense hemlock overstory but open understory.

        To the untrained eye, hemlock can be easy to confuse with fir especially. A dead giveaway, though, is the last 4 or 5 inches of the very upper-most tip of the tree. On firs (and spruces), this tip will typically stick perfectly upright. On hemlocks, it will be flopped over, unable to keep itself upright. Below is a photo of a western hemlock, but shares this characteristic and exemplifies what I'm talking about (I wasn't able to find any good photos of eastern hemlock showing this characteristic floppy top via a quick google search):


        • #19
          I sometimes never even notice them when they are big. I’m usually looking at the ground and I see the understory changes and usually the lighting - they tend to have the darkest understory and not much can grow under large ones.

          But as I alluded to above, the cones are a dead giveaway. Usually the ground under them will retain at least a few.


          • #20
            Also that map sheds a little light on why they treated those ones on Prospect Mtn right away.

            We'd be looking at some major damage if they could get up the Eastern ADKs.


            • #21
              Recent news from Cornell on this issue. We've lost far too many already, but it's nice to get a glimmer of hope:
              Researchers are hoping a fly no larger than a grain of rice and a predatory beetle may work together to combat an invasive pest that is devastating hemlocks in Fall Creek and throughout eastern North America.


              • #22
                Fly and beetle native to the northwest, Hope the cure is not worse than the diseases ?