2018 Hike with Hemlock Restoration Initiative

Location: Fairview, NC

Date: Saturday, January 20

Time: 10:00 am

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous (5-6)

Leader: Emily Adler, SAHC Americorps Outreach Associate & Thom Green, Hemlock Restoration Initiative Outreach Associate

Cost: Free for SAHC members; $10 for non-members. Pre-registration is required.

Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on this hike due to the educational component


Join SAHC and the Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) on a hike to explore some beautiful stands of Carolina hemlocks in the Fairview Farming Community, where SAHC has helped protect over 1,300 acres of forest and historic farmland. We will learn about Carolina hemlock ecosystems, the hemlock wooly adelgid, and current options and efforts to control the adelgid.

We will begin with a short walk to a large stand of hemlocks where we will first discuss the hemlock wooly adelgid and mitigation options. We will then travel to Hickory Nut Gap on the Eastern Continental Divide and traverse several SAHC Conservation Easements, giving hikers a chance to learn about our land protection work in the area, as well as to see more hemlocks. We will be rewarded with scenic views from Ferguson Peak and Rocky Point along the way!

2018 Hike with the Hemlock Restoration Initiative

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Beetles Battle the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

adelgid_photo_smDubbed the “Redwood of the East”, eastern hemlock is a long-lived and slowing growing giant that can reportedly live up to 800 years-old and reach heights of more than 150 feet. The species is considered to be the most shade tolerant tree in the Eastern US and is an ecologically important component of Southern Appalachian forests. The dense shade cast by the evergreen tree’s canopy creates critical wildlife habitat, stabilizes stream banks, and keeps mountain forests and streams cool.

Many forest and aquatic species depend on the presence of hemlocks, whose numbers have declined significantly in the past 10 years due to the introduction and spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). In fact, by 2010 all NC counties within the historic range of hemlocks were infested. This tiny aphid-like insect has wreaked havoc on both eastern and Carolina hemlocks by literally sucking the trees dry and injecting saliva that distorts plant growth. Under high infestation rates, HWA can cause tree death in as little as four to seven years. Read more


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