Hemlock Restoration Initiative Hosting Upcoming Hemlock Management Workshop in Cashiers

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Hemlock trees in western North Carolina are an important and irreplaceable component of our forest ecosystems. These trees have been suffering for over two decades from the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect pest that can kill the tree in as little as four years. However, there is good news for landowners with hemlocks on their property. In the past, chemical treatment has been expensive and usually done by professionals, but new methods are now available that can be done inexpensively by landowners themselves. To educate and update landowners, land managers, and tree care professionals about the most current options available to protect hemlocks from HWA, the Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) is hosting a training in partnership with the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and the Cashiers Historical Society on Friday, November 12, 2021, on the grounds of the Zachary Tolbert House in Cashiers, NC.

 The workshop will consist of an online presentation and in-the-field practice to give participants the tools to make informed decisions about managing their hemlocks. The presentation will provide background and context for the field portion of the training, emphasizing the ecological importance and value of hemlocks in urban and community forests, the biology of HWA and other hemlock pests, and integrated pest management strategies. Participants will use the trees present at the workshop site to learn and practice a variety of methods to treat hemlocks available to all landowners in North Carolina. With hands-on practice and additional discussion, we will cover the details of chemical treatment, including how to identify hemlock trees; assess tree health and infestation severity; select, mix, and safely apply products; as well as when to seek help from a tree care professional.

Workshop schedule:

  • Thursday, November 11, 7—8:30 p.m.: Orientation and discussion of background on hemlocks, HWA, and IPM (online)
  • Friday, November 12, 9 a.m.—4 p.m.: Hands-on chemical treatment training (in-person)

The presentation material will be pre-recorded and available in the week leading up to the workshop. On the evening before the field portion there will be an online orientation and Q&A session via Zoom video conferencing.

For more details and to register, visit the Cashiers Workshop page or call (828) 252-4783. Registration is $10. Please register early. Space is limited. NC Pesticide Applicator credits and ISA member CEUs are available. Please call the HRI office at the number above or email education@savehemlocksnc.org with questions.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, HRI acknowledges the risk that COVID-19 continues to pose to members of our community. To maintain the safety of our event participants and staff, HRI is limiting the number of participants at all events and requiring that all individuals follow HRI’s COVID-19 safety guidelines (available on the HRI website). Anyone not following the guidelines on the day of the event will be asked to leave. Despite taking precautions, HRI cannot eliminate all risk of exposure, and participants will be accepting some level of risk by choosing to attend.

This workshop is presented by the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, which is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the USDA Forest Service and managed by Western North Carolina Communities, an organization focused on supporting community development and agriculture initiatives across western North Carolina. For more information, visit the Hemlock Restoration Initiative website.