Hulking above their neighbors in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia’s century-old hemlocks are giants. But the relatively scarce trees are quickly being felled by the tiniest of insects — the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid. Tiny pests, big problemsThe adelgid is a tiny, fluffy aphid relative that feeds by piercing the bark of hemlock trees and draining the contents of plant cells, which contain nutrients created by the tree during photosynthesis. Millions can live on one tree, and by the time they finish feeding, the tree no longer has the strength to transport water and nutrients from its roots to its branches. The pest first arrived in Georgia 10 years ago after moving south through the forests that surround the Appalachian Mountains. To date, the adelgid has killed millions of hemlocks on the mountainsides and stream valleys of the Appalachians, from New England south to the Smokies and the north Georgia mountains. Once infested, a centuries-old tree can die within 3 or 4 years said Will Hudson, a forest entomologist with UGA Extension. University of Georgia researchers are racing against time looking for long-term biocontrols for the nutrient-gobbling pest.They hope by preserving specimen stands of hemlocks with insecticides now, there will be enough trees left to aid in regenerating Georgia’s hemlocks once the bio-control agents are ready.“We can’t just let a bug loose in the forest and hope it works. The requirements for testing and screening of a new biocontrol agent are — and rightfully so — really, really stringent, and it takes time. The hemlocks don’t have that time,” said Hudson. Enter the Legacy Tree Project — a public-private partnership between UGA researchers, Valent USA, private tree care companies and several municipalities. The project’s goal is to preserve stands of hemlocks so they can regenerate once the woolly adelgid is under control. While hemlocks make up a small percentage of the forest canopy in Georgia, they are vitally important to the forest ecosystem — especially around streams. The giant trees shade streams and stream banks and provide the cool waters that Georgia’s trout populations need to survive while sustaining the tourist economy that surrounds the trout. In addition to the aesthetic impact of the loss of the largest trees in mountain forests, dead trees pose a threat of falling, making camping, hiking and even driving, risky. Two solutions, one goalThe woolly adelgids can be controlled two ways. One way is through the development or discovery of biocontrol agents — predatory insects that eat adelgids, but leave the rest of the ecosystem intact. This is a painstaking process of trial and error, but will offer low-cost, long-term control. The other method is to treat every hemlock in the forest to prevent or cure adelgid infestation. This would be prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, logistically implausible and possibly ecologically damaging. Entomologists at UGA and the U.S. Forest Service, including recently retired UGA forest entomologist Mark Dalusky, have identified and released two predatory beetles. They hope these insects will be effectively control the adelgid without harming the forest, but neither beetle has reached the numbers needed to control the pest. Saving trees now, so that they can be preserved laterUGA entomologists, north Georgia arborist and hemlock enthusiast Jann George and Legacy Tree Project founder Joe Chamberlin have teamed up for the effort. Chamberlin’s company, Valent, helped launch the Legacy Tree Project in 2010 in a handful of Midwestern towns with the goal of saving ash trees from emerald ash borers. Thousands of trees were saved, and a framework for battling other invasive tree pests was developed. Valent donates insecticide where landmark hemlocks are dying like the Chattahoochee National Forest. The insecticide, a dry powder mixed with water, is injected into the ground around the hemlock’s root ball and the tree slowly absorbs the material, which kills the adelgids and prevents new infestations. “Nearly 100 percent of the chemical is absorbed by the tree, which means there is very little chance any will move into nearby streams or groundwater,” George said. “There is hope for biological controls coming down the line. But the only way to get your hemlock tree back to health, at this point, is to use chemicals.” This is the first time that the Legacy Tree Project has worked on public land. George has worked with Young Harris, Clarkesville, Dillard and Sky Valley and saved between 10 and 15,000 hemlocks on private land. “The problem of global trade and invasive species are here to stay,” Chamberlain said. “We only have so many well adapted native species of trees that we can rely on, and we need to maintain them. What we’re trying to do is build awareness about invasives and stimulate action to help protect native tree populations.” For more information about the hemlock infestation in north Georgia and UGA’s research into stopping the pest, visit www.forestpests.org/.
September 28, 2020
Marine fuel supplier ScanOcean has signed an agreement with Finland-based oil refining company Neste to resell fuel on the East Coast of Sweden.Under the cooperation deal, ScanOcean would deliver Neste’s 0.1% marine fuel products to the region.Neste supplies from its terminal in Södertälje service nearby ports from Gävle in the north to Norrköping in the south and Lake Mälaren. Neste’s marine fuels are available at all Finnish ports and through ScanOcean cooperation now in the greater Stockholm area.“We are excited to increase our product offering and to further promote Neste’s unique marine fuels to the Swedish market by showing our clients the benefits of the DMB and RMB products compared to other marine fuels,” Jonatan Karlström, General manager at ScanOcean, said.
September 23, 2020
The 7/8 Lady Cardinals hosted the Milan Indians. Two great games that gave us both a win for the night.The 7th Grade Lady Cards won with a final score of 34-11. Scoring for SLS were Catherine Streator with 11pts, Claire Saner with 10 pts, Kate Weber bringing 6 pts, Izza Wonnell with 3 pts, and both scoring 2 pts each were Ava Owens and Rhea Miller. We had a really great defensive game by all. They are now 8-0 on the season.The 8th Grade Girls had a great game also. They had a final score of 23-20. Scoring for SLS were Megan Bauer with 9 pts, Summer Ratcliffe with 6 pts, Kate Weber with 5 pts, Sadie Wachsmann with 2 pts, and Anna Wanstrath bringing us 1 pt. Haley Geisen brought us one of her best defensive games to date 5 steals on the night and numerous times got tangled on defense for the jump ball. Our rebounds were being pulled down by Kate Weber and Summer Ratcliffe! Nice job by all!Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Erin Trenkamp.
August 31, 2020
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – In-form all-rounder Windies Keemo Paul has replaced suspended West Indies captain Jason Holder in the 14-man squad for the final Test of the three-match series against England starting in St Lucia on Saturday.The 20-year-old Paul has played two Tests, the last coming against India in Rajkot last October. The Guyanese batsman was also a member of the one-day and Twenty20 side which toured Bangladesh last December.Excellent form Since his return to the Caribbean, Paul has been in excellent form, taking 20 wickets in his three appearances in the first-class tournament for four-time reigning champions and current leaders Guyana Jaguars.He also lashed a whirlwind unbeaten 66 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Port of Spain last weekend, in Jaguars’ sixth round encounter.“He is having a good showing in the West Indies first-class championship at the moment,” chief selector Courtney Browne said.Holder banned for one matchHolder was slapped with a 40 per cent fine of his match fee and a one-match ban, after West Indies found themselves two overs short of their quota in the second Test in Antigua.The hosts crushed England by 10 wickets inside three days to take a winning 2-0 lead and reclaim the coveted Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade.Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, meanwhile, remains in the 14-man squad despite the death of his mother, Sharon, last Saturday.Browne praised the 22-year-old’s strength for continuing to play in spite of his grief.“Our heartfelt condolences to Alzarri and his family on the passing of his mother. His heroics in the Test match were outstanding and shows a player of great character,” he said.In Holder’s absence, opener Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the unit.SQUAD – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.