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Free workshop aims to help residents save hemlock trees

Group will teach methods to peserve trees this Saturday

POSTED: May 10, 2015 10:59 p.m.

The time to inspect your hemlock trees is now, according to the Save Georgia’s Hemlocks nonprofit organization.

And a free workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday in Gainesville will help you learn what to look for and what you can do.

The invasive insect known as the hemlock wooly adelgid is slowly killing hemlock trees across North Georgia.

“It attacks only hemlock trees, but it is almost 100-percent fatal (to the trees) over a period of about three to six years,” said Donna Shearer, chairwoman of Save Georgia’s Hemlocks.

Those attending the workshop will learn how to recognize the problem and treat it. The workshop will be held at the Hall County Board of Education office at 711 Green St. NW.

Those interested must be registered by Thursday.

The insects were first imported in 1951 from Asia, Shearer said, and they suck nutrients out of hemlocks’ needles. The needles then fall off and photosynthesis is no longer possible, causing the trees to die.

Shearer suggests inspecting trees for bright white cottony egg sacs. If your tree is infected, you should begin treatment immediately, which includes a mixture of products that can protect the tree for five years. The mixture can be easily administered to both infected and noninfected trees.

“It’s quite easy. You can use a soil injector, which is a device that looks like a big hypodermic needle. You use that to inject treatment into the soil at the base of the tree,” Shearer said.

You can also use a metal rod to punch holes in the soil at the base of the tree and pour the treatment into the holes, she said.

Shearer said professionals can treat the trees, but only those with a pesticide contractor’s license should do so.

To register for the workshop, call 706-429-8010 or email donna@savegeorgiashemlocks.org.



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