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Old 12-11-2021, 06:50 PM   #1
montcalm
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Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I know that there is some thought that the hemlock woolly adelgid (another invasive insect that is wrecking havoc with hemlock populations through the mid-Atlantic, and accordingly also causing severe consequential impacts on trout habitat) may not be able to survive the (relative) extreme cold of Adirondack winters and therefore may not have the ability to firmly establish itself within the bulk of the Adirondack Park. I have no idea if there's any similar hope that the same may be true of EAB, but I have personal hope, at least. And of course, with climate change, who knows whether future winters will be a limiting factor for the adelgid, either.
I think from what I can remember from a Cornell Forest Connect, HWA is already here in NY.

I don't know off the top of my head exactly why, but I recall it's not very severe... yet. I do recall the Adelgid having a crazy life cycle and that it was being studied intensely at Cornell to try to limit spread or infestation here.

I'd be devastated if it took out the Adirondacks. I seem to recall a number of older, large Hemlocks, mostly around lakes and ponds, that would be terrible to lose.

And I think the issue around here is that they generally grow, or can really only compete along seasonal streams and glens, where apparently they lower the temperature of the water. I'd assume that's where the impact to the fish could be substantial.

I'd assume, from pics I've seen of PA's creeks and glens, they'd have the same issue. Looks exactly like southern FLR.

Last edited by montcalm; 12-14-2021 at 12:47 AM..
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Old 12-11-2021, 07:35 PM   #2
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http://nyis.info/invasive_species/he...oolly-adelgid/
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Old 12-11-2021, 07:53 PM   #3
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I took a free volunteer education and identification course put on by the ADK a couple of years ago. I was assigned to investigate and monitor hemlock stands near where I live in the western Adirondack region. I so far have found them all to be adiegid free.
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Old 12-11-2021, 07:54 PM   #4
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There's a map at the bottom of that link. So far it looks like some have shown up in the LG region.
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Old 12-11-2021, 08:44 PM   #5
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For me, Hemlock are just one of those types of trees here in the east, and particularly in the Adirondacks, that you just seem to bond with.

For me, it was the cones. I recall playing with them as a small kid and filling my toy trucks up with them. They are just the perfect size. And no other native looks like they do or has cones like that (well Thuja are close - but totally different foliage). It's just something that becomes common knowledge.

There's an old American traditional that goes something like this:

Quote:
My girl, my girl, don't lie to me
Tell me where did you sleep last night
In the pines, in the pines
Where the sun don't ever shine
I would shiver the whole night through
Except here in NY, I never really so much thought of this area as "the pines" but rather the Hemlocks.



Those seasonal streams or glens would always be significantly cooler than the surrounding forest and often have ice even when the hardwood forest did not.

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Old 12-12-2021, 06:48 AM   #6
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I've got seventy acres of woods down here in the southern tier an they devastated my woods. In another year there will not be any left . Same with the ash.
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Old 12-12-2021, 10:45 AM   #7
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The HWA progression map on the DEC's site is not encouraging
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Old 12-12-2021, 10:50 AM   #8
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This one: Progression of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in NYS - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/95656.html
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:26 AM   #9
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It's much worse than I thought.

Been here for a while downstate and in the south. And apparently around the cities but I haven't seen or heard much about it here.

I think the most disturbing is it creeping up the Hudson. I don't think that part of the Adirondacks is going to escape.
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:38 AM   #10
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Right...and that map hasn't been updated since 2018
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:59 AM   #11
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https://youtu.be/Bf0Oqq799-U

This is a good presentation.


Rewatching this reminded why it’s less devastating in NY. Trees on mesic (moist) sites are much more robust at surviving infestation than those on dry sites. This may be good news for most of the Adirondacks if they become infested.

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Old 12-12-2021, 12:49 PM   #12
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A couple other things of note if you don’t watch the presentation:

The infestation in LG was on prospect mountain and was treated with insecticide.

There was also an infestation in Zoar valley treated with insecticide to preserve a large stand of old growth hemlock that was successful.

Biological control is the preferred method moving forward and a number of predators are being investigated and released to control.


There’s some interesting bits about temperature control but best to watch the link if you’re interested.

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Old 12-12-2021, 07:17 PM   #13
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:07 AM   #14
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interesting read, thanks all. i believe i jogged through a nice stand of hemlocks in the giant mountain wilderness last weekend. it was a treat, especially in the fresh snow. we have some nice sections of hemlocks where i live in western MA but they are not something i personally see much in the adirondacks. i haven't personally seen HWA yet but i have heard of evidence of it quite close by.

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/...993442391.html

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Old 12-13-2021, 01:23 PM   #15
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I can't view the article, but I could see the title. Likely they'll treat them if they can.

I'll see if I can find the DEC density map, but there's A LOT of Hemlock in NY. I think it's the 3rd most abundant stem behind maples.

As far as those in the ADKs. The ones I'm thinking of are in the western parts. Not sure if they are old growth, but there are some large ones. It's tough to say on old trees because sometimes they just aren't that big, especially if they are growing on a poor site.
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Old 12-13-2021, 03:00 PM   #16
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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.

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Old 12-13-2021, 08:12 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:50 PM   #18
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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):

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Old 12-13-2021, 10:09 PM   #19
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I sometimes never even notice them when they are big. Iím 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.
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:58 PM   #20
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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.
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