HWA on twig.JPG

HWA on a twig.

WATAUGA — Hemlock trees in Western North Carolina are an important and irreplaceable component of the forest ecosystem. These trees have been suffering for more than two decades from the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Native to Japan, hemlock woolly adelgid has been a major forest health concern in North Carolina since the late 1990s when the invasive insect first spread into the state. Now the insect exists in every county in North Carolina that has hemlocks, with infested trees losing needles, branches, and often dying within a few years.

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