Mark Whitmore is on a journey to save east coast hemlocks
Call him fuzz buster: he collects insect predators
April 21, 2021
Driving or walking on Flagstaff Lane, off Snee Oosh Road near Kukutali Preserve, or walking the preserve, you may notice white fuzz on the underside of western hemlock tree branches, or you may not. But Mark Whitmore always notices. He has been hunting this fuzz, the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an aphid-like invasive insect since January, a mission that has brought him from New York state the last 15 years. He lops and harvests infested branches and ships them back to his lab in New York.
The HWA is a west coast native but on the east coast is an exotic, imported over 100 years ago on Ja...