The second phase of our three part hemlock silviculture study is now in the ground in western North Carolina! For this part of the study we are again looking at how sunlight levels impact hemlock growth but are now incorporating two species (Carolina and eastern hemlock) and following how light effects hemlock woolly adelgid presence. The 1280 hemlocks planted occured along a north-south transect with the center of the plot lying in the middle of a 1/4 acre canopy gap treatment. These gaps were part of a previously implemented oak regeneration study that looked at group selection harvests in a method termed “femelschlag.”
While the planting was at times cold and wet we were able to successfully get all of our trees in the ground in just three short days. A large round of thanks are extended to our USFS Partners from the Southern Research Station and Pisgah National Forest Appalachian Ranger, North Carolina’s Hemlock Restoration Initiative, and several volunteers for helping us to implement this important study.
Thank you to North Carolina’s Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) for joining Camcore in getting our domestic conservation greenhouse in western North Carolina ready for winter. On Tuesday, October 29th a total of 8 HRI staff members and volunteers joined Andy Whittier in Waynesville, NC to clean up and organize our domestic greenhouse. After a busy morning we were able to cover the greenhouse in anticipation of rapidly approaching freezing winter temperatures. Camore greatly appreciates the assistance from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative and looks forward to continued collaboration in our shared interests of hemlock conservation.
Camcore’s own Juan Jose Acosta and Robert Jetton spent the day in central North Carolina checking on emerald ash borer (EAB) traps. This study site is helping us to better understand EAB phenology in NC in order to improve the timing of biocontrol releases.
Congratulations to Camcore undergraduate researcher Connor Winfield who had his 2018/19 research proposal selected for funding by the NCSU Office of Undergraduate Research. He will use the $1,000 award to study insect diversity associated with different forest types and management strategies at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, NC.
The week of August 6th Willi Woodbridge and Andy Whittier with Camcore traveled to South Africa to assist Merensky in a wood sampling study. The goal of this trip was to analyze the wood properties of some of the lesser known eucalyptus species that Merensky had planted. Field work was a success due to the well marked trees and excellent crew assisting us. Thanks go to Research and Nursery Manger Sonia Du Buisson and Researcher George Dowse for coordinating such a smooth and enjoyable trip. Now on to to analyzing the data and processing the wood samples.
Following the May 2018 exploration of thirteen reported Texas ash sites Camcore returned to Texas during the last week of June to collect seed from nine of these sites. Both explorations and collections were successful and would not have been possible without support from Texas State Parks, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, the Army Corp of Engineers, Austin City Parks, and the Tarrant County Water District. In total our collections consisted of seed from 80 new Texas ash trees located in nine different populations across central Texas. This collection captured material from much of the central portion of the species range. Future Texas ash seed collections will likely target outlier populations in Oklahoma as well as the southern and western edge of the range in Texas. While collections were a bit on the warm side and some of the samaras were not as mature as we would have liked we were extremely pleased to collect such large crops from so many new trees and make progress on this important conservation project done in collaboration with the US Forest Service.