Resistance breeding for evergreens is beginning to yield results

by Dee Shore, NC State University

At the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, N.C., postdoctoral researcher Ben Smith patiently tends thousands of evergreen seedlings. His goal: to find at least a few that will tolerate two tiny but troublesome pests.

Part of NC State University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Smith works for the nonprofit Forest Restoration Alliance. His experiments have implications not only for important area industries but also for the fate of forests threatened by invasive insects. Continue reading

Hemlock Restoration Initiative seeks Outreach and Volunteer Engagement Associate

Applications are being accepted for the AmeriCorps Project Conserve HRI Outreach and Volunteer Engagement Associate with the Hemlock Restoration Initiative of WNC Communities.

The 11-month term will run from September 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017 and will be based out of Asheville, NC. Continue reading

Predator beetle successfully reducing adelgid populations in Smokies

From the Charlotte Observer

The granddaddy trees of North Carolina’s mountains are skeletons on many slopes.

Hemlocks that might have lived for 800 years can die in as few as five, victims of tiny, sap-sucking bugs.

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Hemlocks are beginning to recover

From the Watauga Democrat

Visitors to the Linville Gorge and other mountain forests have all witnessed the carnage. The gray ghosts of a once thriving hemlock population stipple the steep hillsides, falling victim one by one to the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Biologists, researchers, forest and wildlife advocates have been waging what may look like a losing battle against the invasive insect for more than a decade, but efforts are ongoing and recent successes are spawning renewed optimism.

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Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Invades Cary Park

Cary townspeople have gathered to fight a tiny insect that has decimated hemlocks throughout the eastern region.

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