At Opossum Creek Retreat we are blessed with a location that allows us to provide maximum privacy and seclusion with a minimum of impact.
Part of the reason we can offer this is the Eastern Hemlock. This ever green tree, with its thick layers of low hanging branches, provides a visual break between the cabins.
We have been battling the wooly adelgid for many years, and not without some success. The wooly adelgid is a destructive pest that sucks the sap from Eastern Hemlock trees, causing them to die 4-10 years after infestation. We have won a few of the battles against this bug, but are losing the war because as civilians we do not have access to the good stuff.
(Cue dramatic music)
Today the Cavalry arrived in the form of THE WOOLY TEAM. We are participating in a pilot program being implemented through a joint effort between the US Forest Service, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, and in cooperation with the National Park Service and the West Virginia Division of Forestry.
By teaming up, these groups have been able to provide the expertise that is required to survey and assess the extent of the wooly invasion, the health of the trees, and how best to treat them. They also have access to the good stuff that the general public can’t get their hands on.
This is a cost sharing program. For us to hire the Wooly Team to come in and do the assessment would be cost prohibitive, let alone purchasing the chemicals used to treat the wooly adelgid. The early estimates look like it will cost several thousand dollars for our share; we are happy to pay it. We are sure this level of expertise exists in the private sector; from what we have seen we would not be able to afford to begin a project of this scale without our partners.
The Wooly Team will be back in the spring to treat the area. We will keep you informed on our progress.