A councillor wants a report on HRM’s plan to protect eastern hemlock after an invasive insect was found on the trees in Bedford a few months ago.
Coun. Kathryn Morse will present the motion requesting the report at Halifax regional council’s meeting on Tuesday. Morse wants the report to include details of a management plan on protecting and treating the city’s hemlocks after woolly adelgid was found on trees on private property in Bedford in August. Woolly adelgid are aphid-like invasive species that first arrived in North America a few years ago.
Morse writes that the plan “should include best practices for treatment, with a special focus on older hemlocks in HRM, and include funding sources to develop and implement the plan.”
Morse is also asking that funding for management of woolly adelgid be included in HRM’s upcoming budget.
There are hemlocks in several parks in HRM, including Shubie Park, Fleming Park, Point Pleasant Park, and Hemlock Ravine Park, which is in Morse’s district.
“This pest poses a threat to HRM’s hemlocks. There are Eastern Hemlock in HRM that are among the oldest trees in Nova Scotia at 400+ years old and they should be identified and prioritized for protection,” Morse notes in the motion.
In her motion, Morse suggests a management plan include a plan for vaccination of hemlocks. Eastern hemlocks in Kejimkujik National Park are being vaccinated for protection against the woolly adelgid.
“Vaccines are a short term measure that could buy time while longer term protective
measures can be developed,” Morse writes.
Groups across the province are working to protect Nova Scotia’s hemlocks from the woolly adelgid. As Yvette d’Entremont reported in September, volunteers are innoculating multigenerational hemlock groves at Asitu’lɨsk (formerly Windhorse Farm) on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Innoculating the hemlocks requires volunteers to drill a small hole into the tree into which they insert a chemical capsule.
And also in September, Philip Moscovitch interviewed ecologist and former Parks Canada Donna Crossland about her work with volunteers to protect eastern hemlock in southwestern Nova Scotia. Crossland and her work on the hemlocks are featured in a new documentary called In the Quiet and the Dark.