New Hope for Eastern and Carolina Hemlocks; Tree Savers (TM) Announces First-Ever High Volume Commercial Lab for the St Beetle

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Tree Savers™ new state-of-the-art biological control laboratory is now producing hundreds of thousands of St Beetles for commercial release. There’s new hope in the fight to eradicate HWA in Eastern and Carolina Hemlock forests.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Carole Cheah

St Beetle at Work

It's going to be a game-changing year in the fight against HWA.

Tree Savers™ announces the most advanced private biological control laboratory for the mass production and distribution of what leading scientists and the USDA believes are the eastern and Carolina hemlocks only hope – the St Beetle. This voracious little ladybug is the natural born predator of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) – the invasive transplanted pest destroying entire hemlock forests from Maine to Georgia.

In 1995 the USDA approved the release of the St Beetle in public forests to biologically control HWA. The problem is that cultivation of the beetle has been limited to research laboratories. There’s simply not enough beetles being raised to combat the 50 year establishment and rapid advancement of HWA infestation.

That is, until now. According to Environmental Scientist Jayme Longo of Tree-Savers™ “we’ve created a state-of-the-art commercial laboratory that dramatically increases the availability of St Beetles. We raise them, we sell them directly to both the public and private sector, and we guide people through the process of releasing them. Our first harvest this year will guarantee that hundreds of thousands of beetles will be available for massive deployment. It’s going to be a game-changing year in the fight against HWA.”

In fact, Tree-Savers™ is the only American company currently supplying the beetle to anyone determined to save hemlocks. “HWA doesn’t stop at forest boundary lines” says Longo. “Neither do our beetles. Wherever there’s HWA, St Beetles attack.” St Beetles have been shown to reduce HWA densities by as much as 87% in just 5 months. That’s a startling statistic.

Until now, efforts to eradicate HWA have largely been limited to the use of chemical pesticides. But pesticides, while effective in the short term, have proven to be an unsustainable solution. Once the pesticide wears off, HWA returns. Repeated applications are expensive and quite simply – have not stopped the rapid infestation.

Why save the hemlock?

The destructive impact of HWA goes far beyond the death of a single tree by setting in motion a downward spiral of ecosystem decline. The hemlock provides critical habitat for over 96 bird and 47 mammal species. Streams with hemlock forests contain a higher richness and diversity of aquatic invertebrates and significantly greater trout populations. As hemlocks die, stream-side shading disappears, water temperatures rise, and trout die.

It gets worse. The natural ability of the soil to retain moisture diminishes (hydrological failure). Erosion happens and streams and waterways become clogged with sediment. Dead trees and underbrush become fuel for forest fires. Local economies that depend on a lush hemlock forest decline. Hemlock forests provide aesthetic beauty, tourism, increased property values and wood products.

About Tree Savers™
Tree Savers™ is part of a family of companies devoted to developing and implementing all-natural restorative technologies that are scientifically proven to reverse environmental destruction. According to John Tucci, President of both Tree Savers™ and Lake-Savers LLC, “We believe nature always has the answer if we’re willing to look deep enough. Don’t just treat the symptoms, restore the natural system. Whether it’s restoring a lake’s inherent capacity to process excess nutrients from the watershed or restoring hemlocks using biological control, we’ve found that nature has a better way. Not only are these all-natural technologies effective, they’re intrinsically sustainable.”

For more information about Tree Savers™ and Lake Savers LLC, visit their websites.

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