How Can Georgia Mountain Homeowners Save Their Hemlocks?

The Mountain Life Team Blogger December 2, 2009

I recently read an article in the November 11th edition of The North Georgia News on how to save our hemlocks that Donna Shearer wrote entitled “How Can Georgia Homeowners Save Their Hemlocks.” I know what some of you are thinking….”he is just now reading an article written back in November?” Actually, I read it several weeks ago, but slow to write about it myself here on “The Porch.”

Donna states that there are 3 things you can do if your hemlocks become infested with the woolly adelgid.

1. You could do nothing and your trees will die.

2. Treat them yourself.

3. Hire a professional to treat them.

Tall HemlocksObviously treating them yourself is the most cost affective. This option involves a combination of simple cultural and chemical controls. Cultural controls are things you should be doing routinely to maintain the health of your trees. Things like spreading mulch around your trees, keeping them watered during times of drought. One good point that Donna made was NOT to hang bird feeders in or near Hemlocks as birds can be vehicles for hitchhiking adelgids. Also she points out to remove trees where there is overcrowding and to cut any infested trees that you do not plan to treat chemically.

Chemical controls fall into two categories, non-systemic and systemic. Non-systemic products are topical treatments such as insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils that are sprayed onto the foliage and kill insects usually by smothering them. Systemic products are applied to the soil, the foliage, or in some cases the bark; are absorbed and distributed throughout the tree; and then kill any insects that feed on the tree, providing residual protection for one to five years.

If your trees are highly infested and you really want to try and save them, you need to go ahead and hire a professional. Badly infested trees need to be treated with a stronger product called Safari. You will have to contract with a professional to have your trees treated with this product. You can visit this website and click on the Contacts page for a list of professionals in your area. In most cases, they will come out and give you a “Free” estimate to treat your infested trees.

Food for thought! Not treating your infested trees could cost you a whole lot more in the long run, not to mention all the aggravation.  For instance, having a large tree cut down, and completely hauled away could cost from $300 to as much or more than $1,500. Large trees such as Hemlocks can contribute 7% – 10% of your properties value. So on a $200,000 property, losing all the Hemlocks could cost as much as $14,000 – $20,000 or even more. Cha-ching!

So if you have hemlocks on your North Georgia Mountain Property, take the time to inspect them. If you detect that they are possibly infested, please look into treating them yourself or hiring a professional to do so. This will help keep our North Georgia Mountains beautiful…not to mention help hold the value of your property!

Thanks for stopping by “The Porch.” Please come on back by as often as you like, you are always welcome. If you have any Real Estate needs in the North Georgia Mountains, I would be grateful for the opportunity to assist you. Should you have any questions or concerns about anything in this article or generally related, I would be happy to answer those for you. You can Contact Me, or simply pick up the phone and call me at 877.633.8186.

Make it a GREAT day!

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