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Blog

Duke Funds Jocassee Gorges Hemlock Treatment

leah kirk

The largest remaining Eastern hemlock trees in South Carolina got a dose of tender loving care recently when Duke Energy funded treatment of trees in Oconee County’s Coon Branch Natural Area to help the hemlocks in their battle against the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid.

This is the third time in 10 years that Duke Energy has funded treatment of hemlocks along the Whitewater River in Coon Branch Natural Area, which is part of the Jocassee Gorges. Without the treatments, most, if not all, of these hemlocks would have succumbed to the hemlock woolly adelgid, which has decimated Eastern hemlocks across the Southern Appalachians in the past 20 years.

Jackie Failla of Appalachian Arborists uses an injector to place insecticide around the roots of an Eastern hemlock alongside the Whitewater River, helping the tree fight off the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid. Duke Energy funded the treatment of the Jocassee Gorges trees in northern Oconee County.  Jackie Failla of Appalachian Arborists uses an injector to place insecticide around the roots of an Eastern hemlock alongside the Whitewater River, helping the tree fight off the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid. Duke Energy funded the treatment of the Jocassee Gorges trees in northern Oconee County.

Appalachian Arborists of Asheville, N.C., completed the recent hemlock treatments at Coon Branch and administered the 2008 and 2011 treatments. The hemlocks were treated by soil injection with insecticides that are taken up by the trees’ vascular systems, killing the adelgids. Without the treatments, hemlocks with adelgids will likely die within two to four years.

Duke Energy has spent a total of about $20,000 in the past decade to help keep the Eastern hemlocks alive along the Coon Branch Natural Area Trail. The Coon Branch Natural Area Trail is a spur trail of the Foothills Trail (www.foothillstrail.org), a 77-mile trail between Oconee and Table Rock state parks. Coon Branch Natural Area, accessed through Duke Energy’s Bad Creek Hydro Project, is owned by Duke Energy and is part of the Jocassee Gorges lands that Duke Energy voluntarily placed under conservation easement.

This event can only be signed up for between 8/13/2018 12:00 AM - 9/27/2018 11:59 PM

This is our regularly scheduled fly-tying program that takes place on the 4th Thursday of each month.  The Fly-tying Forum provides tyers with an opportunity to increase their skills. Open to fly-tiers of all skill levels, the fly patterns change each month as a way to encourage learning various new tying techniques and development of tying skills.’