Eastern Hemlock is a prominent component of the forests around Sandy Lake; some trees are over 200 years old.
Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, aka the Hemlock Vampire, “can cause defoliation, twig dieback and mortality in as few as 4 to 10 years, though it can take up to 20 years”. It was discovered in SW Nova Scotia in 2017 and has been progressing northeast. There are no reports of it yet in Halifax County, but it’s pretty likely it will make its way here eventually.
Individual Hemlock trees can be protected by treatment with systemic insecticides. That’s not very practical for protecting large stands but it is being applied on a few larger stands such as the Old Growth hemlock at Sporting Lake by ecologists with the intention of saving a few mostly intact systems in the event that the pest sweeps the province before better methods of control (not involving use of toxic pesticides) are developed.
It is a more practical approach for smaller stands or properties that one might want to protect.
A Hemlock Conservation Demonstration Day is being held on July 15 at Wentzell’sLake provincial park in Northfield, Lunenberg Co. Registration is required: https://buytickets.at/medwaycommunityforestcoop/950636
28 places remained open as I wrote this post (July 11, a.m.)