Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

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Shannon
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Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by Shannon » Mon May 05, 2014 7:08 pm

So, I was wondering how many of my fellow climbers would be willing to help save the hemlocks on the PMRP and MFRP?

I was belaying last weekend on the PMRP under a 100 foot-plus tall hemlock when a small sprig from the upper boughs, dislodged by the gusting wind, landed on the ground at my feet. When I glanced down I noticed the short hemlock needles were speckled with white mildew-like clumps. I recognized the white specks as an infestation of woolly adelgid. The Lexington Herald-Leader recently ran an article about woolly adelgid and how the Division of Forestry is asking private landowners to help save the trees by treating them.

"If private landowners don't step up, there's gonna be a massive loss of hemlock in Kentucky," said Alice Mandt, coordinator of the hemlock woolly adelgid program for the state Division of Forestry. "If you don't treat them, they're going to die. There's no getting around it."

http://www.kentucky.com/2014/04/27/3215 ... -urge.html

I love hemlocks. :P So, I recently have offered to volunteer time and donate money to the RRGCC to a-save-the-hemlock project, or whatever the Coalition came up with.

I have been told that Rick Bost has the treatment protocol and has helped the Webers on Muir Valley with the same issue, which is great news to hear since that means we already have the knowledge and practical experience among us.

I am not speaking for the RRGCC or committing the Coalition to anything, just helping to start a conversation, raise awareness and gin up some prospective support if, and when, the time comes :D

dustonian
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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by dustonian » Mon May 05, 2014 7:18 pm

Great idea Shannon! I'd be happy to help. If a few folks step up to treat the trees in holler at the crag they're climbing at that day, we should be able to get a lot of done pretty quickly.

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by Ellis_Bill » Mon May 05, 2014 7:46 pm

Have been involved on a number of hemlock treatments through the division of forestry at UK and working with KDF for landowners and on robinson forest, UKs forestry research forest. I would be willing to help out.

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by Shannon » Mon May 05, 2014 8:01 pm

Thanks, Dustin! I knew YOU would be down for helping :D

That's is AWESOME, Bill! Couldn't have any better volunteer than that!

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by dustonian » Mon May 05, 2014 8:14 pm

What I lack in the resume I make up for with raw enthusiasm haha. There are some INCREDIBLE stands of 100-150' old-growth hemlock in the MFRP I would hate to see get wiped out!!

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by climbhigh » Mon May 05, 2014 8:15 pm

I can't be there but I'll throw in money as needed. Thanks guys

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by Cromper » Mon May 05, 2014 9:29 pm

I'm game.

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by Meadows » Mon May 05, 2014 10:13 pm

GREAT! What's involved?

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by chandler » Mon May 05, 2014 11:16 pm

There were a couple dozen of us at Torrent last year when Bost and his E. Tennessee crew helped with Hemlocks there. Process is not complicated. Mainly would need lots of helpers and lots of 5 gallon buckets. I'm in.

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by Corona » Tue May 06, 2014 8:21 am

Thank you so much for your leadership on this, Shannon. I work as a tree climber for the USDA's plant protection and quarantine division on invasive species survey in Ohio. If you need any help with treatment or delimiting the infestation, I'm happy to help. If you would like any educational or promotional materials for the kiosks at the trailheads or campgrounds, I can bring them down from the USDA office in Cincinnati.

It's really good to hear that there's already a protocol established by Muir Valley. I'd love to hear more about it. It's going to be a time consuming, expensive, ongoing project. There's no way around that. Even with three successive years of treatment, most trees will retain high enough levels of imidicloprid for resistance for less than a year at standard dosage. I'm guessing that Rick Bost is going with soil drenches rather than foliar sprays, trunk injections, or soil injections given the terrain? Probably the best strategy.

Thanks again, Shannon,

A. Ryan Haeseley
[email protected]

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by climbhigh » Tue May 06, 2014 8:36 am

Can someone with an actual background and education on the subject talk about the possible link in the bee die off and the spray for the hemlock disease. Not trying to downplay or troll at all. The hemlock forest is very special to me but the bee population is critical to overall forest/environment health. Trying to get my moral compass set on if the risk to reward is there. Either scenario seems to have a grand impact. Thanks

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by dustonian » Tue May 06, 2014 8:53 am


climbhigh
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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by climbhigh » Tue May 06, 2014 9:35 am

There's a lot that needs weighed out long term in this fight IMO. Again, the hemlock forest of Appalachia is very dear to my heart. Not trying to sound like jumping on the bees are dying bandwagon, but they are a pretty important piece of the grand wheel of our world. I didn't realize the affect of the hemlock treatment until I started reading last night. It would be cool to see a true study of risk/reward and which thing would be the most benificial to try and save over the long run, bees or trees. Aesthetically short term hemlocks would win, long term all inclusive natural world id guess bees would...Again, not trolling, both are truly dear to my heart, just really want to see hard facts on the best plan of attack for the longevity of the overall environmental impact.

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by lena_chita » Tue May 06, 2014 11:04 am

My first thought was that this could be minimized by using a proper timing for hemlock treatment, The effect on bees is from the bees foraging in the insecticide-infused pollen/nectar, right? So if you treat the hemlocks after they have finished their flowering/pollen production for the year, the bees shouldn't be as strongly affected.

But the more I read about Imidacloprid, the less like a good idea it seems. It is also toxic to water invertebrates, and hemlocks grow in damp places and near streams, so I can't see how you can treat the trees and not get a significant stream contamination.

And the insecticide seems to be long lived enough that it affects even the insects involved in leaf litter decomposition.

All in all, it started like a no-brainer to me, YES, I want to help with saving hemlocks. but once I started reading, I am not so sure anymore that we won't be doing a bigger damage. I would like to see a more detailed cost/benefit analysis.

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Re: Who would volunteer to save the hemlocks?

Post by dustonian » Tue May 06, 2014 11:12 am

Few if any long-term ecological field studies of actual Imidacloprid use in the real world exist, though there are many laboratory studies easily identifiable using Google scholar:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 010-0566-0
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es051392i
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6079/351.short

It seems like the setting of use is critical with this chemical. The stuff is toxic enough and features a long enough half-life (in addition to being banned across most of Europe: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/3066.pdf) to think twice about its widespread use here. As usual, US regulation lags far behind the rest of the developed world and most of the "safety" studies were funded by the pesticide industry... so no easy answer on this one just yet.

Is this the only chemical found to be effective for the hemlock treatment?

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