Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 63

and benthic (creatures that live on the
bottom) aquatic organisms.
After our discussion at park headquarters, Perez and I head for a trail where a
stand of hemlocks appears near the pathway's starting point. The biologist explains that staff selected this stand to be
treated so that visitors could easily learn
first-hand about the danger the HWA presents and what the NPS is doing about the
threat. He also shows me an information
display among the trees. Next, he walks
over to a particular tree.
"We've been monitoring this hemlock
since 2006," he says. "It wouldn't be so
healthy without the treatments. It's obviously more than held its own. That's absolutely a victory."
On my trip to West Virginia, I also visit
the outdoor company, Adventures on
the Gorge, in Lansing. There I meet Matt
Cook, aerial manager for AOG's zipline
and a certified pesticide handler-two
jobs that go hand-in-hand. For it is Cook's
task to treat the company's hemlocks with
neonicotinoid along the zipline course.
"I joke that it's my job to addict the
adelgids to a nicotine-like compound like
some people get addicted to smoking," he

says with a grin. "But what really happens
is that the chemical affects the adelgids'
nervous systems so they can't eat. I inject
the chemical at the base of the tree and it
enters the vascular system and runs up to
the needles where the adelgids feed."
Cook then goes about gathering his
"medicine bag" items, and a short time
later we head for the course. As we do so,
he explains that because so many of the
treated trees grow near a stream, AOG
prefers to treat its hemlocks through their
cambium layers instead of injecting the
insecticide into the soil.
Our first stop is at a hemlock where
Cook measures its diameter at breast
height.
"This one has a dbh [diameter at breast
height] of 20 inches," he explains. "The
most accurate average growth of hemlocks
seems to be about .8- to 1-inch per decade.
So this tree is probably 80 to 100 years old.
The 20-inch diameter means that the tree
should receive 10 capsules of neonicotinoid. If it were 30 inches, it would receive
15, for example."
Cook then dons latex gloves to keep the
chemical off his hands and quips, "I feel
like a doctor treating his patient." He next
drills holes into the tree's cambium layer,

So the same
substance
which can cause
such damage to
human health
can, in its
synthetic form,
be extremely
toxic to the
HWA.

Virginia Tech's
Tom McAvoy
and Carrie Jubb
examining hemlocks
at the university's
Kentland Farm test
forest.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

63



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover4
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