Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

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Will Blozan
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Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by Will Blozan » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:16 pm

ENTS,

As most of you know, the Cheoah Hemlock in Highlands, NC is curreently the largest (1,564 ft3+) and tallest (158.7') eastern hemlock known. It has received lots of media attention and treatments for hemlock woolly adelgid. On past climbs I have noted that the top of the tree was not responding to basal treatments of imidacloprid and dinotefuran, for which it has received two doses of each since 2006. The tree has generally recovered but stubborn, declining tops taunt our best efforts. It is fully reasonable to think that this tree is simply to massive to adequately dose with listed labeled rates of product.
Base of the Cheoah Hemlock
Base of the Cheoah Hemlock
Stitch of whole tree October 2010
Stitch of whole tree October 2010
Me ascending the Cheoah (Photo by J. Chamberlin)
Me ascending the Cheoah (Photo by J. Chamberlin)
One thought of experts and entomologists aware of the history and treatment of the tree suggests the lower crown was intercepting the dosage applied at the base. This indeed looked to be the case since the lower crown was full and clean of HWA. Not satisfied, we decided to try a never before attempted application technique. One of the products used, dinotefuran, is a highly systemic and soluable insecticide that is well known to penetrate through bark into the vascular system of the tree. Thus, we concluded we could theoretically bypass the lower crown and apply the product where needed- in the top!
Ana mixing the dosage for a bark paint (Photo by J. Chamberlin)
Ana mixing the dosage for a bark paint (Photo by J. Chamberlin)
Valent Corporation, who distributes dinotefuran, donated the material and I donated my time to climb the tree and perform the application. I was attended in the tree by Joe Chamberlin, an entomologist from Valent and my new employee, Ana Poirier, an excellent climber. Ana assisted Joe- who had NEVER climbed a tree- while I set ropes and photographed the ascent.
Joe looking natural!
Joe looking natural!
Joe howling with delight on reiteration!
Joe howling with delight on reiteration!
I noted that the declining tops were either above a large reiteration system or above an area of fusion- in other words above areas of "vascular confusion". I suspect two things; one, the tree has trouble translocating the dosage from below up so high and around the numerous branches and vascular messes and two, the concentration in the sap is so reduced it is not efficacious.
Ana among vascular confusion
Ana among vascular confusion
Me bark painting a fork @ ~120 feet (Photo by J. Chamberlin)
Me bark painting a fork @ ~120 feet (Photo by J. Chamberlin)
Well, the climb and application was a success. We will have to wait and see how the treatment is received by the king of hemlocks. BTW, American Forests plans to do a story on the effort as well as crown the tree a new National Champion to replace the puny tree in Maryland...

Will Blozan

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James Parton
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by James Parton » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:12 pm

Will,

Awesome. I hope it works. May the King rule long!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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mdavie
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by mdavie » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:26 pm

I hope it works, I'm glad y'all tried it. I was just in that area on Thursday, and that one stand of old hemlocks right beside the highway was heart-wrenching.

greenent22
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by greenent22 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:25 pm

awesome effort

i really hope it works

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AndrewJoslin
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by AndrewJoslin » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:43 pm

Great innovation and report!
-AJ

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eliahd24
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by eliahd24 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:23 pm

Wow- what an amazing tree! Thanks for your generous efforts to save this giant Will. I'd love to visit this tree sometime.

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wottiv
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by wottiv » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:23 pm

Impressive pictures- Is this the tree (or group of hemlock) behind the church in highlands? How has this tree responded to the treatment? Have you been back recently to inspect it?

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eliahd24
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by eliahd24 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:09 am

I visited Cheoah in early summer 2011 and it seemed to have lots of new green growth. Have not been in the past 16 months or so. Such a fantastic tree and great surrounding forest as well.

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AndrewJoslin
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by AndrewJoslin » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:54 am

Will Blozan wrote:American Forests plans to do a story on the effort as well as crown the tree a new National Champion to replace the puny tree in Maryland...
Love that quote.
-AJ

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Will Blozan
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Re: Cheoah Hemlock aerial treatment for HWA

Post by Will Blozan » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:45 pm

NTS,

I have not seen the tree since I climbed it but all reports are positive and photos sent to me show new growth in the top. For those who may have missed the story here is an article I wrote last year that includes the Cheoah hemlock.

http://www.americanforests.org/magazine ... he-giants/

It truly is the last of the giants for eastern hemlock... For those wanting to see it I recommend getting permission first as it is on private property. Contact Gary Wein at the Highlands/Cashiers Land Trust.

Will

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