The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has announced it expand the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Cooperative Pilot Project, started in 2011 to provide private landowners with an affordable option to save hemlock trees from HWA, a non-native insect that feeds on Hemlock trees.

The 2013-2014 HWA Program will expand to 46 West Virginia counties, not including Calhoun.

HWA is an insect that appears as white, woolly masses on the underside of hemlock needles and eventually kills the tree, according to Tim Tomon, Forest Entomologist with WVDA's Plant Industries Division.

"Hemlock trees are an important component of West Virginia ecosystems besides their value as lumber, but even more so for their unmatched aesthetic appeal," said Tomon. "They also create habitat for songbirds and other wildlife, including shade that keeps water at trout-friendly temperatures."

Interested landowners have until September 30 to apply for the program. All work will be performed by employees of the WVDA.

The treatment should protect trees for about four years.

See   WORRY LIST - Tiny Insect Killing Hemlocks

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