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Author Topic: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?  (Read 814 times)

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Offline David s Forest

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Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« on: January 17, 2019, 10:28:26 PM »
Hi, my first post!! There's so much info. knowledge and expertise represented here, it's a treasure trove. There are so many questions and mysteries about our forests. I so enjoy reading up on all the topics. Here's one that has me stumped, since starting thinning a stand of hemlocks I haven't come across any signs of woolly adelgids. These trees were suffering a year or two ago, some have hardly any crown left but now here in West Deerfield there's lots of nice growth, no sign of the adelgids. What gives?
'91 Woodmizer Lt 40HD G24, Ford 850 w/Norse winch, a pile of Stihls, and a '45 International TD6dozer, and a Patrick Olwell Irish flute

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 11:01:07 PM »
Haven't a clue, but welcome to the forum.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 11:32:30 PM »
May be they got fleeced. ;D
We have it on the west coast of bc but its a quarantined area. Central bc nothing .
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 11:34:55 PM »
Welcome to the fourm
Were are you from. May help answer your question.
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

Offline Ianab

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 12:32:00 AM »
Possible reason?

A small beetle that naturally preys on the woolly adelgid has been introduced, and a couple of native species also will also eat them. But in any outbreak like that, the predator population trails behind the food source.

So you can get a serious outbreak in an area for a couple of years, then the predators (local and introduced) catch up in numbers, because every tree is an "all you can eat buffet". Eventually the pest numbers fall back to only nuisance levels.

Also, if there is a native predator for the bug, that's likely to reduce it's impact, and the control is already in area, and will love a new food source. This likely explains why some areas have been affected much less. 

I don't know if this is the situation here, but it fits the scenario, and the bug is likely to come and go in future years, depending on the weather and the predator population. 
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Offline clearcut

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 02:07:52 AM »
The adelgid can have a year or two of nearly no detectable population due to large numbers feeding on the new hemlock growth, leaving only the less nutritious older foliage available the next year. Individuals feeding on older foliage fail to reproduce successfully. 

They will return. 

An article describing this process.

Offline David s Forest

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 09:34:33 AM »
Yes, so I updated my profile so you can hopefully see that I'm in West Deerfield MA.
Even last year the predictions were that the hemlocks were a dying breed. I had heard about a west coast predator beetle but never heard that it had been introduced in the east. Evidently there are areas where quantities of the hemlocks died but here it looks like they're on the rebound. 
Sounds like we won't be so lucky with the EAB, however I still haven't seen any sign of that in our corner. 
'91 Woodmizer Lt 40HD G24, Ford 850 w/Norse winch, a pile of Stihls, and a '45 International TD6dozer, and a Patrick Olwell Irish flute

Offline GullyBog

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 08:34:58 PM »
The adelgid start out as small and black, very hard to see but active in the winter.  They form the white fuzz after they begin feeding on a needle because they're basically immobile when they feed.  The waxy fuzz protects them from most predators.  Cold weather kills them and hard winters have stalled their spread north and even pushed them south a bit.  Here in Virginia they have just about gotten everywhere but it hasn't been the end of the hemlock.  On drier sites the trees are done for but closer to water and in colder spots there has been significant survival.  There is also decent regeneration in areas that were hit hard.  The predator beetles are doing a great job and can still be found in stands where they were released years ago.  The hemlock is probably going to make it.

Offline David s Forest

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Re: Where have all the wooly adelgids gone?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 09:47:37 PM »
I find that cutting the trees is a lot of work due to all the branches but it is heartening to think that they will be around. Such good cover for water sources, and deer, and the wood is so versatile. My wife loves to burn it in the stove and it's good for construction. The frame of our house is mostly hemlock, at least the newer part. I'll be keeping an eye out for more signs of the adelgids.
'91 Woodmizer Lt 40HD G24, Ford 850 w/Norse winch, a pile of Stihls, and a '45 International TD6dozer, and a Patrick Olwell Irish flute


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