Did you know that Eastern Hemlocks support about 120 species of vertebrates and more than 90 bird species, provide shade to rare and endangered native plants, remove tons of carbon dioxide from the air, and serve to filter pollutants along streambanks?
This beautiful keystone species has been losing its native range for over 50 years due to the proliferation of the wooly adelgid. Donna Shearer, founder of Save Georgia’s Hemlocks, has dedicated many years to educating and organizing Georgians to fight the threat and restore dying trees. At the February meeting of the North Georgia Mountains Chapter of GNPS, Shearer gave a fascinating and detailed picture of the state of the hemlock from the tree’s economic impact to effective treatments for hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA). Attendees received a wealth of information directly from Shearer as well as a gentle nudge to volunteer for the cause.
Save Georgia’s Hemlocks is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. In addition to public education, the organization maintains a website, www.savegeorgiashemlocks.org and a Hemlock Help Line, 706-429-8010. They also have treated seedlings available for adoption.