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Successful 1st Survey

Posted on Feb 19, 2015

I am very happy to report that our team comprised of RTPI staff and JCC faculty and students did not find Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) on any of the 200+ trees we surveyed at South Valley State Forest! Although the temperatures were chilly, we had a beautiful sunny day to be out in the hemlock stands trudging our way through the knee deep snow. Prior to our survey we ran our student surveyors through background information about this deadly invasive bug threatening the area’s hemlock trees. We went over look-alikes and our field protocol, then headed out the door to our destination. Once we arrived, we had to wade through the snow to reach our first hemlock trees and split up into teams, covering lots of ground and lots of trees. It was great to work side by side with JCC’s Becky Nystrom and Jan Bowman, professors of Biology, and their enthusiastic students. It was a wonderful afternoon spent together observing the hemlock branches and happily confirming that HWA was no where to be found.


This has grown to be amongst one of my most favorite views: a healthy hemlock stand with sunshine penetrating through the dense crown.


Pictured here is Jan Bowman knee deep in the snow as she makes her way towards more trees to survey.


As the sun began to get lower on the horizon, we wrapped up our surveys and excitedly walked away from the forest with negative results, exactly what we were hoping for.


Our fearless team of JCC students did a great job scouting for HWA and didn’t mind getting a little snowy.

Our next survey effort will take us to Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area in Warren County on February 27th from 1:00-5:00 pm. The survey team will be meeting at the RTPI parking lot at 12:30 pm and will drive to the site. So bundle up and join us as this survey effort is open to anyone who would like to learn more about HWA and what we can do to protect the area’s important hemlock trees.

See you then!

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician