Q: We have property on the Soque River at the northern tip of Habersham County. We have quite a few hemlock trees that have been showing signs of distress over the past several months. We first noticed some of the branches dying in a few of the trees, and now a lot of the branches are in decline.
A: I’m afraid your hemlocks may be afflicted with hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive aphid-like insect native to Japan. Thousands of Appalachian hemlocks have been killed by this pest. Hemlock stands are among the only old growth forests in the East, and are of great importance to wildlife and water quality. Research has shown that a tiny Japanese ladybug, ^Psedoscymnus tsugae^, has a huge appetite for adelgids. The non-profit Lumpkin Coalition is raising money to fund a laboratory for raising the predator beetles. You can learn more about adelgids and the Coalition at http://xrl.us/LUMPKIN. (broken link)