HEMLOCKS need HPA's Help - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
RB's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Home 2F, Camp 2G & 2F
Posts: 28,459
Back To Top
HEMLOCKS need HPA's Help

<span style="font-weight: bold">Every once in awhile we get requests to use this site to help with situations that will affect every corner of this state and every person who enjoys being out in Penns Woods, so it is in that same fashion I wanted to pass this along to all so that we can put our HPA network to work to do our best to save some hemlocks while we are out and about doing what we love and join in this collaboration by the US Forest Service, the DCNR, the Nature Conservancy, the PAGC, and concerned landowners all over the state.

The information that follows has been e-mailed to me and to save time and avoid confusion much of it copied and pasted from those e-mails. The request is for outdoorsmen to examine the hemlocks in your area according to the guidelines provided and report back to the contacts listed for your search area. Meetings have already been held in the ANF area of NW PA, but this is of statewide concern and importance, as the hemlock woolly adelgid will completely devastate the hemlocks in the area in which it invades which is critical to the wildlife that use it for shelter and the streams that often run thru these valleys. When I think about all my favorite places in PA there is not one of them that does not include a hemlock valley that houses deer, grouse, turkeys, bears and shades a stream in its valley. Think about your favorite hunting haunt if all the hemlocks died and were gone. It has already been found and confirmed in Cooks Forest, Clear Creek State Park, Benezette Area , and on the ANF near Kinzua (Webb’s Ferry area).

I have talked with these individuals and have gained their permission to have you contact them if needed and you want to help. Although they do have specific areas of interest all information they can collect from areas within in the Commonwealth will help them with planning and protection. I think we know this is a matter of when and not if it comes to your area so let’s keep our eyes open so that they can best match resources to the problem.

Here is the info as presented to me: </span>

Thank you for being so responsible about the web content on HPA, you certainly have my permission to post about hemlock woolly adelgid, about the US Forest Service/The Nature Conservancy collaboration, about the great response we are getting from private citizens in collaborating and monitoring, and how folks can help if they want to. I think the best material to put on the site would be hemlock woolly adelgid identification tips, and contact information for if folks have found something they think is HWA or would like more information about the USFS/TNC collaboration, etc.

1. A fact sheet about the USFS/TNC collaborative effort - this fact sheet focuses on the “phase 2” of our effort, and the results of phase 1 can be found here: http://maps.tnc.org/hwa_cma http://maps.tnc.org/hwa_cma ; this link takes you to a web map homepage – to open the web map, click the OPEN tab in the upper left and select “Open in ArcGIS.com map viewer”. This map shows all the spots where the folks that are collaborating with the USFS and TNC have delineated the highest priority hemlock resources in our landscape of interest, the High Allegheny Unglaciated Plateau. This fact sheet has contact information and a general overview of the goals of the partnership.

2. A word document with contact information for people who think they’ve found HWA – separated by land ownership of where you are looking. The landowner contact that is not on this sheet is PGC, so here’s the NW and NC region dispatch contact numbers just in case anyone sees something on a gamelands:

a. Northwest Region
Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren counties
Post Office Box 31
Franklin, PA 16323
Phone: 814-432-3187, 814-432-3188

b. Northcentral Region
Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Union counties
Post Office Box 5038
Jersey Shore, PA 17740-5038
Phone: 570-398-4744, 570-398-4745

We have been in touch with several specific folks for PGC in that region, as well as Harrisburg staff, but I haven’t figured out yet who they’d like to be the main point of contact for volunteer monitors who are looking for HWA, so for now it’s probably best to tell folks to just contact the regional dispatch.

Here is how you know if you see something and how to go about surveying an area:

Allegheny National Forest
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Survey Protocol

Equipment needed:
 GPS Unit
 Compass
 Maps and Datasheets

About the insect:
Native to Asia, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) (HWA) is a pest of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana), both of which are considered highly susceptible to the adelgid, with no documented resistance. The HWA is currently established in 16 Eastern States from Georgia to Maine, and hemlock decline and mortality have increased at an accelerated rate since the late 1980s.
Adelgid feeding can kill a mature tree in about 5 to 7 years. This tiny insect (~ 1 mm) feeds on all age classes of hemlock, from seedlings to mature, old-growth trees. Dispersal and movement of HWA is associated with wind, birds, deer, and other forest-dwelling mammals. Humans also move the adelgid on infested nursery stock and during logging and recreational activities. Natural enemies capable of maintaining low-level HWA populations are nonexistent in North America.

Figure 1. Hemlock woolly adelgid on the underside of hemlock branches showing the woolly masses (ovisacs).

Figure 2: Hemlock woolly adelgid nymphs

In the eastern United States, HWA was first reported in 1951 near Richmond, Virginia. It was initially considered to be largely an urban landscape pest and was controlled using a variety of insecticides applied with ground spraying equipment. It was not until the 1980s that HWA populations began to surge and spread northward to New England at an alarming rate. By the late 1980s to early 1990s, infestations of HWA were reported to be causing extensive hemlock decline and tree mortality in hemlock forests throughout the East.

Purpose of this plan are:
The purpose of this plan is to determine whether or not HWA is present in sampled stands on the ANF. The objective will be to sample as many high risk stands geographically scattered across the ANF, with a heavier emphasis on the southern and southeastern portions of the forest, closest to known infestations in Cook Forest and Clear Creek State Parks and the Benezette Area.

What to look for:
Look for the presence or absence of the white woolly masses (Figure 1) of HWA at the base of needles on the underside of hemlock branches, and in some cases HWA nymphs that are not yet covered by a white woolly mass (Figure 2). Hemlock woolly adelgids produce a white woolly coat that is easily observed because it contrasts with the hemlock foliage. It does NOT matter if the HWA are alive or dead. Counting is NOT required. HWA are specific in their appearance and location. If it doesn’t look like a typical HWA white woolly mass, it probably isn’t one. The number of HWA on a tree is lower when fewer trees are infested. So, if you’re not finding anything, look closer.

Where to look:
Only select trees where branches can be reached from the ground. Examine the underside of the last meter of foliage on two branches that are on approximately opposite sides of the tree. If HWA is found on the first branch, do NOT examine the second branch. Although the sample branch must have some needles, do NOT discriminate in branch selection based on foliage quality.

How many trees to examine:
 A minimum of 15 but no more than 25 trees in general forest areas or 100 trees in stands with large influxes of recreation users must be examined per stand for the presence or absence of HWA depending on how many positive trees are being found per stand.
How to look:
Identify the area to survey on a map.
1) Walk through the sample area in a random direction until you reach a tree to sample. Trees must have two branches that can be reached from the ground.
2) Select a branch and closely examine the underside of the terminal meter of foliage for the presence or absence of HWA nymphs or white woolly masses at the base of hemlock needles. If HWA are found, GPS and note the tree location, and go to step 4.
3) If no HWA were found on the first branch, select a second branch on the opposite side of the tree and examine as before.
4) Pace out approximately 10 to 15 single-step paces (in a stand with a goal of 100 sample trees) (50 single-step paces when a total of 25 trees will be sampled in the stand) in a random direction and select the closest tree with two branches that you can reach. Don’t get carried away being too exact with your cardinal directions; it doesn’t matter much, just shoot and go. The same goes for the distance to the next tree, though efforts should be made to sample across the entire stand. Arbitrarily select trees to examine.
5) Examine the tree for HWA as in steps 2 and 3.
6) If NO HWA were found, then repeat steps 4 to 5 until HWA are detected (go to 7 and REPORT find to Rick Turcotte or Andrea Hille), or 25 trees (general forest stands) or 100 trees (stands with large influxes of recreation users) are sampled. At any time HWA is detected, go to 7 and REPORT find to Rick Turcotte or Andrea Hille.
7) If the number of trees with HWA is &lt; 15 then repeat steps 4 to 5 until either 15 trees with HWA are detected, or 25 trees in general forest stands or 100 trees in stands with large influxes of recreation users, have been examined.
8) In all sample stands, when 25 trees in general forest stands or 100 trees in stands with large influxes of recreation users, have been examined, stop sampling.
9) In each stand sampled, keep a record of the number of trees examined, and obtain a GPS point or map any trees with suspected HWA infestation. Photograph (if possible) and report potentially infested trees to Andrea Hille and Rick Turcotte immediately.
Where to Report Suspected HWA On ANF:
Andrea Hille ( a&#104;&#105;l&#108;&#101;@&#102;&#115;.&#102;&#10 1;d&#46;&#117;s [email protected]), (814) 728-6161
Rick Turcotte ( [email protected]), office (304) 285-1544, cell (304) 376-2951

Best time to look is November through March, it’s when the white woolly wax coverings are most prominent on the undersides of the hemlock needles. There will be white, somewhat puffy dots right at the base of the hemlock needles, on the undersides. Sometimes there’s only one or two when the infestation is very early, and they are very small. It might be somewhat difficult to go out and ID HWA when folks haven’t seen it “in person” but people should ere on the side of caution – there are a number of spider species that make little web bundles in similar places on the undersides of hemlock needles, but we’d rather be sure than not.

We are also planning another training for folks on HWA identification, effects on hemlocks, and monitoring, for <span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="text-decoration: underline">March 25th in Bradford, PA</span>.

<span style="font-weight: bold">I asked the question on if they are looking for information only in these areas or anywhere in the state and received this response:
Good question for reporting, since our contact list only focused on the northwest and north central regions of PA here’s more complete information:
For potential HWA sitings on any private land or state forests/state parks contact DCNR Forest Pest Management (the map of the FPM regions in the word doc from the previous email is a guide to which counties are in which regions):
Central Area Entomology (717) 536-3961
Northern Area Entomology (570) 724-2868
Eastern Area Entomology (570) 387-4273
Southern Area Entomology (814) 735-3544
Western Area Entomology (814) 290-5105
For looking on gamelands, folks can probably get contact information easily from your site since PGC is linked, but in case it makes it easier here’s the regional dispatch contact list, since I only sent you NW and NC regions before:
And for federal land, the contacts in the word document I sent you will work for any federal land (Andrea and Rick), the information will get into the right hands if folks contact Andrea and Rick Turcotte if they think they see something.
<span style="text-decoration: underline">[/u][u]</span>

"Only takes a second to change your season" Dad, 1980
RB is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 05:14 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
stackbarrel's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE PA/3C
Posts: 3,289
Back To Top
Re: HEMLOCKS need HPA's Help

We have HWA here in NEPA. Most, if not all of our Hemlocks can be dead in 10 to 15 years. Winters of prolonged cold, like this winter, can set the HWA back and prolong tree life. One thing we're doing on our property is planting other conifers that can grow fairly fast and provide thermal cover when the current age structure of Hemlocks are gone. Just another Asian import destroying our habitat.

In an age of universal lies, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act - George Orwell
stackbarrel is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 11:25 PM
casey's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: milford pa-pike county
Posts: 13,971
Back To Top
Re: HEMLOCKS need HPA's Help

DCNR gauging past frigid winter’s effect on forest insect pests

casey is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome