Should I harvest hemlock due to wooly adelgid

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
On my 75 acre parcel a consultant has suggested harvesting my 30 acre hemlock stand to prevent losses due to wooly agid and to create an area of early successional cover. Right now the hemlock is acting as my sanctuary and is the the only stand like it in the area. It provides thermal cover and is used as a travel corridor for many bucks coming from nearby corn fields and heading to the brushlots on the other side of my property. Most of my scrapes can be found along a creek that runs through the hemlock. Half of my property is oak / maple and the other quarter is abandon ag fields. I currently have 2 acres of foodplots. I’m afraid to lose the thick hemlock because part of me feels like it is the only reason these bucks are cruising through my property. Should I harvest it and put a new plot in surrounded by early successional habitat? Thanks for all you do.



The wooly adelgid can kill a stand of hemlock relatively quickly.

If there are wooly adelgid confirmed in your area then it may be best to go ahead and salvage the hemlock.  Unfortunately the wooly adelgid are destroying hemlock stands throughout the eastern states.  

I suspect deer will still use the creek at a travel corridor. If the hemlock are harvested I would create cover (early succession vegetation) and a food plot. I’d design this so the plot can be approached, hunted, and exited without alerting deer (as best you can).  You’ll have an open canvas if the hemlock must be harvested so this will be a great time to create some ideal habitat and stand/blind locations.

Enjoy creation,


December 22, 2015