Biologists in the Great Smoky Mountains say there is a bright side to the recent spell of frigid temperatures. The deep freeze is a life-saver for some of the mightiest hemlock trees in the Smokies.
“Definitely, these cold extremes help with the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid,” said NPS forester Jesse Webster. “It will not get rid of them completely, but we will take every bit of help we can get.”
The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) invaded the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2002. The tiny insect from Asia has killed millions of hemlock trees in the Eastern U.S. The pest gets its name from the white woolly coating that surrounds and protects the nymphs while they feast on hemlock trees in the winter.
Hemlock woolly adelgid infestation on trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
“Adelgids are a little bit of a different insect. They are …