I just got back from a trip
to southwestern Virginia.
As always I was on the lookout for the effects of hwa. I hate
like that's all I do when I go hiking and backpacking, but it's
generally at the top of my list.
What I saw was the same weird pattern I've noticed in other
along the Virginia/West Virginia border:
The level of infestation and mortality varies from mile to
even from grove to grove within walking distances! I have yet to
used to the way the infestations manifest themselves. One of my
hobbies is bagging peaks. One of the mountains I hiked was
Walker Mountain. It's a high, dry ridgeline, so there weren't a
hemlock groves on it, but there were a fair number of Carolina
hemlocks along the five-mile hike I took. I would encounter some
that were obviously infested and in distress (but no dead ones),
then within a hundred yards or so I would see hemlocks that were
perfectly healthy with lots of new growth and full of needles.
Then we did some hiking on the AT around Burke's Garden. This
not very far from Little Walker Mountain, but the hemlocks there
in really bad shape. Lots of mortality and many, many sick trees
hanging on. I'm wondering if the folk hiking the AT aren't
vectors. Maybe? Almost no one hikes Little Walker, but droves
At any rate, just some more observations on the weird
attack of hwa.
Later I need to post some links to images to get some stuff