Published Tue, Nov 13, 2012 10:29 am Dateline
An insect is threatening the health of hemlock trees in Southeast Ohio.
Stephanie Downs, Ohio Department of Natural Resources invasive species forester, said the insect is the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
"It's an insect that's native to Asia, so it's not native to the United States, and when it comes into areas with Hemlock, you see widespread mortality of these trees and so areas such as Virginia and North Carolina, where it's been established for many years, most of the Hemlocks in those areas have been killed by the species," said Downs.
Downs also said the Hemlocks should be protected because they are ecologically and economically important.
"Hemlock isn't a common species throughout the state, but where it does occur it's an important ecological and economic species because usually it's area of high tourism and Hemlock is important because it affects water quality in a lot of areas that are very steep and rocky where there's not much soil to filter water," said Downs.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are holding a program later this week on how to control the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
It will feature speakers from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio Divison of Forestry and Hocking Hills Tourism Association.
The program will be held Thursday November 15 at 7 p.m. at The Old Dutch Restaurant in Logan.