Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

June 18, 2014

Hemlock Woody Adelgid: To treat or let die

CROSSVILLE — Here's the report on the status of that pesky insect known as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) in Fairfield Glade. Two classes have been completed with volunteers learning the proper procedures to apply a systemic insecticide known as imidicloprid, one of the best and longest lasting materials available as the frontline approach to reduce the insect activity.

• Application performed tomorrow will have a residual effect between 5 - 7 years.

• Each tree only needs 2 - 3 oz. per inch diameter to start the ball rolling.

• The cost works out to be an average of $0.20 -0.30/inch so a 10 inch tree costs $2 - 3.

• Trees totaling approximately 250+ inches/acre is the maximum we can treat in that area.

• Based on legalities, that means 25 (10" trees) can be treated for a cost of $50 - $75.

Now for the most important facts and why treating outscores the cost to remove. Depending on location, accessibility, size of the trees, removal etc., the cost can skyrocket to as much as $2,500 for those same 25 trees treated for around $50, a ratio of 1/50th the cost to remove. Logic tells me treating is by far the least expensive way to go.

Our third class for this spring consisted of more than 48 residents, property owners, representatives of the trails hiking club, neighborhood watch contingencies and officials for our community and those of the Wyndham Complexes. That's 48 pairs of eyes looking for infected trees, but what is needed are more volunteers to perform applications.

We've had numerous calls in to verify conditions observed and plotted. Our committee member, Peter Merrill, has developed a huge map of our area to plot locations of trees. Residents are responsible for the cost and treatment of trees on their own properties or those close by. Our group and those of the state are working hand in hand on severe infestations. Our combined effort will be most important to slow down the advance of HWA.

Here's how you can help! Everyone knows someone who may have hemlocks on or bordering their property. Whether you are walking, shopping, going to a friend’s house for a BBQ, if you see something that you think might be HWA, call me at 707-9314 for an information form detailing the location, site conditions, accessibility etc. I'll reply with an email to you; and you, in turn, can fill it out and return it back to me.

So what does that do?

• Each tree sighted will be verified and determined if it is infected or not.

• Those that are will be measured and action determined based on severity.

• Each of the areas of infected trees will be plotted on the GIS zone map.

• Either a team of ours or representatives of the state will perform a treatment

• Treated trees will be marked and dated for future follow-up.

Please, don't hesitate to call if you think you have spotted the HWA in a hemlock or two. The sooner we know, the better the chances are of saving that tree or group of trees.

Regrettably, it's impossible to save every tree, but we sure have a good jump up on trying to do so with your help. Remember this old saying, "Only You Can Prevent the Wildfire of this Devastating Insect!"

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