National Forest proposes tree treatment plan
LODI—The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) is proposing chemically treating some 300 trees in the Finger Lakes National Forest to stop the spread of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.
The adelgid is an invasive insect that grows in and kills hemlock trees. The USFS wants to systematically treat large un-infested or lightly infested hemlocks at Caywood Point with a slow-release tablet formulation of imidacloprid (CoreTect). In addition to the CoreTect tablets, current heavily infested large diameter hemlock trees would get a basal bark application of dinotefuran (Safari).
The forest service will accept public comment on the treatment plan before implementing it. The deadline to comment is by the end of December 2012. Postal, hand-delivered, oral, electronic and faxed comments on the proposal will be accepted. Postal comments must be submitted c/o Will Brendecke, Finger Lakes National Forest, Hector Ranger District Office, 5218 State Route 414, Hector, New York, 14841. Hand-delivered comments must also be submitted to Hector Ranger District office.
Oral comments may be submitted by phone to 607-546-4470 Ext. 311, or in person at the Hector Ranger District Office. The office hours for those submitting oral or hand-delivered comments are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Comments may be submitted by fax to 607-546-4474, ATTN: Will Brendecke, Caywood Point Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Suppression and Prevention Project.
Brian Eschenaur, representative from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, said the main chemical treatment proposed for use has a “low toxicity to mammals.” He explained imidacloprid is designed to react with a part of the insects’ metabolism that mammals do not have. Eschenaur added that the chemical is used to control fleas on dogs and is in a wide variety of crop applications.
The slow-release tablet formulation is designed to release a full dose over a two year period allowing twice as many trees to be treated per acre at one time. According to the forest agency, the low dose of imidacloprid is coupled with fertilizer, allowing optimal dose over time while minimizing the risk of contaminating aquatic resources. One treatment will remain efficacious for seven years or more. CoreTect tablets have been used to treat stands of high value hemlock on federal, state, and private land in the Mid-Atlantic States, including Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Dinotefuran treatment has greater mobility within the hemlock but its efficacy is shorter-lived than imidacloprid. The strategy is to treat the trees in greatest need with dinotefuran so that HWA would be rapidly suppressed, allowing them to recover to the point that they would be able to uptake the slower moving, but longer lasting imidacloprid.