Innovative Fund Raising Ideas to Help Save the Hemlock Trees

Hemlock forests are in crises up and down the eastern seaboard. They are being sucked of the sap that sustains them but tiny little pests known as the wooly aldegid. As relief efforts continue to try and control the spread of the bugs and heal the trees that have been attacked by it, forests and parks are starting to run out of money for the necessary treatment.

If you are a hemlock lover, or just someone who cares about preserving our ecosystem, there are ways that you can get involved in raising money. Forest rangers don’t have the time to spare to organize fund raisers and implore people to help. But you can, by doing the organizing for them.

A Community Cook Out

Everything tastes better when you cook it out in the wilderness. Organize an event where dinner is served surrounded by the gorgeous hemlock. For a just a few dollars folks can come into the forest and enjoy a camp style meal. The admission cost will definitely help the cause, as will getting people into the forest to see just what we would be missing if the hemlock where to die out.

Scavenger Hunt

A full scale scavenger hunt in the forest would be another fun way to get people out and donating. With the hemlocks surrounding the game, you can place inexpensive items within a certain radius and set up clues as to where to find them. The prize could be one free night of camping in the park or something else along those lines where no money is taken away from the effort to save the trees.

Archery Tournament

Go to your local sports store and explain your cause to them. Ask them if they would be willing to rent a couple of recurve bows, arrows and a bulls eye target. Then blow up a few pictures of the wooly aldegid and place it dead center on the target. Who ever gets the arrow closest to the pests head wins the event. Charge an admission fee to raise the money you need, and offer up a prize that won’t cost you or the park rangers any money. If you’re looking to buy your own bow, check out the reviews at fastflightarchery.com.

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Do the Work Yourselves

If all else fails, build a team of volunteers who are willing to apply the treatments to the trees. This is not a difficult job, but it is a time consuming one. By taking that task off of the rangers hands you are saving them a lot of money in manpower.

Getting involved in a cause does not always have to mean opening up your wallet. If you give it some thought and time, you can find dozens of ways of getting involved in helping to save the hemlock forests.

Camping Next to the Protection of the Mighty Hemlock Tree

Hemlock forests, a staple of eastern seaboard forests from Georgia all the way into Canada, have long been popular areas for camp grounds and hiking. As these parks struggle to keep the trees safe from the wooly adelgid insect they are finding themselves running out of the money needed for the special treatments. One way in which you can passively help these forests, and have fun while doing it, is paying the small fee to camp there.

Even if you are not already an avid camper, it is easy to become one. With established camp grounds inside of hemlock forests you will find most of the amenities, like electricity and running water, that you are used to at home. The major difference being that you are sleeping inside of a roomy camping tent as opposed to having a roof over your head.

What Type of Gear Will You Need?

If you are serious about supporting the effort to save the hemlock trees by camping amongst them, you are going to need some camping gear. A camping tent of course is a must. If you are bringing along the kids but don’t want separate tents you can find larger sized family tents at your local sporting goods store.

Don’t forget about a sleeping bag for everyone. These not only will keep you and your family cozy at night, they will protect you from bug bites. Hemlock trees create inviting environments for creatures of all shapes and sizes, including pesky ants and mosquitoes.

Eating at the Campsite

Half the fun of camping inside of a Hemlock forest is getting to learn how to cook in a new way. Bring along a camping stove and cook hotdogs on sticks, hamburgers, corn on the cob and of course the famous s’mores. You can even use a camping stove by picking one after reading these reviews with pots and pans to make eggs and pancakes for breakfast.

CampHemlockYou will also need a large sized cooler to hold your stores of food while you are camping. It is a good idea to get one that is airtight with a locking lid to stave off curious bears.

Camping Activities

One of the most rewarding parts of your camping trip can be in helping the rangers treat the infected hemlocks. You may be asked to apply chemicals that discourage the aldegid from making the hemlock their home in the first place.

Most parks will also have facilities set up to play ball. Get a group together and play a game of football or baseball. There are usually natural water sources close by hemlock forests too where you can spend a day swimming or fishing.

Backpacking in a hemlock forest is another great way to spend a day. Fill up your backpacking backpack with plenty of water and some sandwiches and fruit and head out into the forest to see all of the wildlife that the hemlocks protect. Don’t forget to pack a compass and keep track of which way you are going so that you can make sure you make it back to your campsite.

Parks usually charge a very small fee to take advantage of their hemlock surrounded campgrounds. That small fee you pay will be used to help purchase the chemicals needed to save the forest. Pay it gladly and begin a new tradition of camping in the most beautiful natural environment on the planet.

Preserving the Hemlocks in Your Own Yard

There has been a lot of attention given to preserving large Hemlock populations in forests up and down the American eastern seaboard. And while this is critical in protecting our fragile ecosystems and the planet, we must not forget about those smaller clusters or even single hemlock trees. If we do, then all of our efforts will eventually be in vain.

The Hemlock wooly adelgid insect that is threatening the lives of these mighty trees is a mobile little monster. Even if just one Hemlock tree in the vicinity is affected, that can quickly be spread to others. For this reason it is imperative that you are in constant vigilance of the Hemlock trees on your own property and taking precautions to fight off the deadly insect.

Types of Treatment

There are chemicals available that have been proven to ward off the bug and restore your trees health. It only takes a few years for an infestation to kill a large tree, so the quicker you get started on treatment the better the chances of saving your Hemlock tree. For older, larger trees, inject the chemicals into the soil around the tree. Here they will be picked up by the root system and make the sap that the bugs are feeding off of poisonous to them. With smaller trees you could spray the tree or just drench the soil with the chemical.

Note about your pets:

While these chemicals are considered to be safe for people and animals, you should try and limit your dog’s exposure to them. The soil method is of particular concern, as most dogs love to dig around trees. Consider installing some sort of safety boundary like a dog fence around the perimeter of a cluster of Hemlock trees. These work by emitting a slight electric shock to the dog when he tries to cross over. Your dog will be discouraged away from the Hemlock trees by this wireless pet control system, allowing you to give the trees the treatment they need. Particularly good is the Pawz Away for keeping pets away from places in your yard (here’s a good Pawz Away Review), rather than keeping them restricted within like other types of fences.

Natural Methods of Treating Hemlocks

Non chemical treatments include spraying the trees with certain oils or soaps. The trouble with these methods is that while they may kill the insects they come into contact with, the effect is not long lasting. Plus you run the risk of missing areas altogether during the process.

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There is also a method that involves the release of a particular class of beetle that feeds on wooly adelgid insects. While this is an excellent long term approach for the forests that are being affected, it may not be one that is desirable to a homeowner. While the beetle may be getting rid of one nuisance for you, it will likely create another.

Whether your trees are infected or not, don’t take any chances by not treating your trees. The Hemlock is a beautiful part of our natural landscape as well as an important one. In this case, protecting even one tree on your property could be protecting hundreds in a nearby forest.

 

Fighting For the Hemlock at the Source

The Hemlock tree, an important part of the North American landscape, is in danger of becoming an extinct species. For this reason, thousands are flocking to various Hemlock forests in Canada and the United States to enjoy their beauty while helping to fight their killer at the source.

It is a small insect that is threatening the life span of the Hemlock. This wooly adelgid literally sucks the sap right out of the tree, leaving it without needles and lifeless in just a few short years. With the number of trees being infected, tree lovers from all over North America are flocking to these forests to help stop the epidemic from spreading and try to save the Hemlocks that are already being affected.

Getting Ready to Help

If this sounds like something you would like to get involved in, understand that in most circumstances you will be spending your nights with the Hemlock trees you are trying to save. These are large forests, and most volunteers are finding it easier to camp out than to travel back and forth from local hotels. Not to mention how fun it is to spend the night under the protection of the Hemlocks mighty branches.

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You won’t need much beyond a few changes of clothes (depending on how long you plan to stay) and your camping gear. Don’t forget your essential toiletries like toothpaste, water flosser and soap. You won’t want to have to go searching around the local small town stores to find these essential items.

What You May Be Asked to Do

There are treatments that can be applied to the Hemlock tree to help it fight the insect infestation and keep it from spreading to other trees. You could be asked to help spray trees that are infected. This will involve 2 or 3 volunteers making sure that the treatment is getting to all portions of the Hemlock tree.

You could also be asked to help apply a treatment at the base of the tree. These methods allow the bug killing venom to enter the Hemlock tree at the root and travel upwards. As the insect begins to feed, the venom will enter its system, killing it at its source. In some severe circumstances, the venom is injected straight into the tree so that it gets to the bugs even quicker.

This may sound like a lot of work, but it will be well worth it. While collecting funds for this cause is important, it is equally important to find dedicated people who are interested in a more hands-on approach to combat the problem. The experience will be a rewarding one, as you learn the importance of caring for these trees.

The Hemlock tree is home to thousands of forest creatures both large and small as well as responsible for maintaining clean water systems. Do your part to preserve this mighty part of our landscape and all of the wild life that it protects.

How You Can Get Involved in the Movement

The mighty Hemlock tree is in grave danger of extinction from a small little bug known as the Hemlock woolly adelgid insect. This insect, a native to the Asian continent is suspected of being brought over to Northern America in the 1920’s. Responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Hemlocks across the eastern seaboard, it is urgent that this tree killing bug be put to rest before the important Hemlock is gone from our landscape forever.

The Hemlock plays a critical role in the life cycles of all of the animals living in and underneath its branches. As they die out, these animals are suddenly exposed to a new environment which many cannot survive. Birds, forest animals and even species of fish are all in danger from the woolly adelgid insect.

If you are lucky enough to play host to a Hemlock on your property, check it carefully for signs of infestation. The dreaded woolly adelgid is covered in a white and waxy wool, resembling tiny cotton balls sitting at the base of the trees needles. These tree parasites are living off of the sap that is created at the base of the Hemlock needle, cutting off the supply of nutrients that the tree needs to survive. The needles will change color and fall off, causing the tree to die in just a few short years.

If your tree is infected you need to act fast, not just for its protection, but for that of other Hemlock trees. This nasty bug travels fast, using the wind or the wings of a bird. Talk to your local forest rangers about how you can apply a foliar treatment to your Hemlock in order to destroy the bugs. They may also suggest an insecticide that can be introduced into the tree through the trunk, spreading upwards and poisoning the feeding insects.

While it is important to treat the tree on your property, it is the destruction of forest sized populations of the Hemlock tree that is of most concern. Organizations across the eastern seaboard from Canada to Georgia are struggling to apply the treatments needed to keep this insect at bay. If not, the lives of thousands of wild animals, plus our very own ecosystem, are at risk of destruction.

The foliar and systemic treatments that you may use on your tree at home can be applied to an entire forest. This is an expensive venture that is dependent on help from the public in order to pull off with success. As the trees are slowly saved using insecticides and oils, a long term solution of predator beetles is also put into place. This hungry little beetle feeds exclusively on the adelgid, and will help to protect future saplings from being affected by the infestation.

You can do more than just save those trees on your own property. Organizations like ours are dependent on donations from the public to keep up with the treatments and save as many of these trees as possible. Even the loss of one tree is the loss of a home for a countless number of essential insects, birds and other wildlife whose lives all intertwine to help make our planet a healthy one.

Why We Need to Save Our Hemlocks


hemlockFor over five years, scientists around the world have been aware of an insect infestation that is attacking the valuable Hemlock tree and ending their life spans much earlier than normal. This is having a devastating effect on the ecosystems of forests all over Northern America.

There is little doubt as to the importance of the hemlock in the ecosystem of a forest. Their large stature and wide branch span provide shade to the ground below keeping streams and rivers at the cool temperatures needed to encourage the growth of fish populations. These same branches, covered in lush needles, provide the ideal home for a variety of different species of birds and forest animals.

It is a non-native insect known as the hemlock woolly adelgid which is causing the trees demise and negatively impacting the precious ecosystems that they protect. Some forests rangers and scientists are predicting that as the infestation continues to grow the entire population of this sturdy tree can be wiped out in less than 10 years. This will have a lasting effect on the North American climate that is impossible to predict, but surely to be negative.

The hemlock woolly adelgid was first introduced to North America during the 1920’s where it quickly began its devastating work on the hemlocks of the Mid-Atlantic states and New England region. Birds and wind are carriers for the insect, but it predominantly travels on already infected horticultural materials.

Under normal circumstances these massive trees are known to grow up to 150 feet tall, with trunks as large as six feet around. There are hemlocks in parks around North America that are even estimated to be over 500 years old. Preserving as many of these trees as possible is not only critical to protecting our environment, it is also saving a population that has played an important role in the history of two nations.

Although not considered to be as strong as woods derived from other trees such as the white pine, Hemlock wood was used in a variety of different building applications, including sub flooring, sheathing and crating by our nations forefathers. The bark turned out to be an indispensable source of tannin, a compound used by hide tanneries.

Aggressive action needs to be taken in order to halt the growth of these killer insects and save the lives of such a valuable resource to our habitat. The rapid growth of the infestations and the ease at which they are able to travel has made the extinction of this tree population imminent unless intervention is applied immediately.

There is such an emphasis placed on preventing the extinction of wild life animals, and yet little is down to protect the habitats in which they live. Allowing these lustrous trees to die out can bring to an end the lives of hundreds of other birds, wild mammals and aquatic life. If the destruction of the rainforests in Southern America are any indication, the loss of the Hemlock in North America forests will have a negative impact on the delicate balance which makes life on earth possible not only for us, but for our future generations.