South Mountains.   James Smith
  Feb 22, 2007 18:45 PST 

I had yesterday off so I went on a very long hike through the South
Mountains State Park near Morganton NC. Mainly I was there to bag some
peaks and to see some waterfalls, but I took a look at the hemlock
groves while I was in there.

They're all pretty much infested with hwa. I looked at dozens of trees,
and saw two or three that had no sign of hwa, but the rest seemed to be
coated with them. I saw a few trees that have that brown look when the
needles really start coming off.

This is one park that is going to be totally devastated when the
hemlocks start dying off. The ridgelines mainly seem to be pine and oak,
but the coves and streambeds are truly dominated by hemlocks. I walked
through areas that seemed to be well over 50% hemlock. When the adelgids
start to take a toll, that is going to be a war zone. All of that shade
will be completely gone. Not to mention the loss of the hemlock
ecosystem that I assume some creatures may depend upon.
Re: South Mountains.   Edward Frank
  Feb 22, 2007 19:10 PST 

James, ENTS,

Below are some excerpts of a survey on the infestation supplied by South
Mountain Park personnel. I thought it might be of interest to you all.

Ed Frank


16) On how many forested acres in the unit does hemlock occur? Please break
down by species if both Carolina and Eastern Hemlock are present.

Eastern ~4,500 Carolina ~900

17) How many acres in the unit are present in which hemlock is a major or
dominant species? Please break down by species if both Carolina and Eastern
Hemlock are present.

Eastern ~750 Carolina ~250

18) Briefly describe, if known, the logging and human disturbance history
of sections of the forest containing hemlock trees. Entire park was logged
from the 1930s to the 1950s. A few pockets do exist that do not appear

23) What percentage of the hemlocks in the park are infested with the
adelgid at the present time? Approximately 80%

24) Please provide estimates on the time frames in which various the
following infestation thresholds were reached:

a)      Date of first appearance of the adelgid? 2001
b)      Date by which 50% of the trees were infested? 2004
c)      Date by which infestation reached approximately 100%? Hasn't occurred yet.
d)      Date of the first tree mortalities from the adelgid? 2007
e)      Are there any trees in the zone of infestation still living? Yes

RE: South Mountains.   Will Blozan
  Feb 23, 2007 04:37 PST 


I first found HWA in there in 2004. I alerted the managers via mail and we
had a long phone conversation. So, they have been well aware of it for a few
years. Doesn't sound like much, if anything, has happened to control it.

Will Blozan