BRADFORD, PA – May 19, 2017 – The Allegheny National Forest will resume treatments to suppress hemlock woolly adelgid starting on June 1, 2017. Last year, contractors treated approximately 830 trees. This year, contractors will begin at Heart’s Content Scenic Area, where they will treat 360 hemlock trees. “The eastern hemlock is an important ecological component of the Allegheny National Forest’s riparian ecosystems,” said Forest Supervisor Sherry Tune. “This project is designed to limit hemlock mortality and to promote survival of ecologically and culturally important areas of hemlock across the Forest.”
The Allegheny National Forest will also continue to monitor for hemlock woolly adelgid along streams and rivers and in old growth and recreation areas, including the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area; Tionesta Research Natural Area and near the North Country Scenic Trail. Signs will be posted to let the public know that treatments have taken place.
The hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive, nonnative insect that attacks and kills eastern hemlock trees. “Although it is very difficult to predict future hemlock woolly adelgid spread and infestation rates, studies suggest that 50 percent of the forest may have established hemlock woolly adelgid populations in the next 20 years,” said Andrea Hille, acting Marienville District Ranger. “Without treatment, infested hemlock trees will slowly die from the effects of this destructive forest pest.”
The project is part of a broader collaborative landscape-level partnership between the Allegheny National Forest and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) that was established in 2012 to develop a strategy for landscape level conservation across all ownerships in the High Allegheny Unglaciated Plateau.