Friday, July 27, 2012

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Could Have Major Impact

This imagery from Bing Maps makes me think that the loss of the hemlock trees in North Alabama will have a big impact on our forests.

Above is an image of an area north of the Cranal Road in the Bankhead National Forest.  Clicking on the image should bring up a larger version for detailed viewing.  The photo was made in the winter, when the leaves are off the hardwoods.  The hardwood areas show as gray or brown.  The areas near the creeks are mostly green, and I believe that is due to the evergreen hemlock trees.  There are some green loblolly pine plantation blocks in the lower left of the photo, but they are pretty easy to tell apart from the the hemlock areas. 

This is a closer view in the same area.  Here, Hemlock appears to be occupying about 50 percent of the forest.  Hemlocks are a major portion of some forests, and losing them will be a major impact.

More information the hemlock woolly adelgid is located here.

1 comment:

Mark Kolinski said...

Nice visuals, Mike. The pines are easy to distinguish from the hemlocks. The shade of green is noticeably different than the blue-green of the hemlocks.

No other tree species could replace the hemlocks, whose shade tolerance as a conifer is unequaled. Loss of hemlocks would be an ecological disaster and forever alter the landscapes in north Alabama.