Eastern Hemlock

Eastern Hemlock

The objective of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) is to restore eastern and Carolina hemlocks to their native habitats throughout North Carolina and to mitigate damage to hemlocks caused by infestation of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA).  More specifically, our goal is to work with a variety of partners and current restoration initiatives to ensure that eastern and Carolina hemlocks can resist the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid and survive to maturity on North Carolina’s public and private lands.

The Hemlock Restoration Initiative is currently managed by WNC Communities, a non-profit organization focused on supporting community development and agriculture initiatives across Western North Carolina. Visit WNCCommunities.org for more details.

One of the main goals of HRI is to develop and implement strategic plan for hemlock restoration in North Carolina. This involves:

  • Identifying and establishing hemlock conservation areas
  • Educating landowners on how to economically treat and manage the hemlocks on their properties
  • Increasing the number of trees being treated on public lands
  • Implementing Integrated Pest Management and long-term biological control of HWA
  • Advancing the development of other control strategies and restoration techniques, including the search for HWA-resistant trees and the growing conditions that hemlocks like best

How you can help:

  • Join HRI’s “Team Tsuga” for a volunteer hemlock treatment workday on one of our state forests, parks or game lands (a great way to learn first-hand how to treat your own hemlocks). Sign up here to volunteer.
  • Invite HRI to speak to your community, lead a hike, or participate in a local conservation-oriented event (email info@savehemlocksnc.org)
  • Use native, locally-sourced trees and other plants in your landscaping to avoid introducing other unwanted pests
  • Feed the NCDA&CS Beneficial Insect Lab your unwanted adelgid (contact Steven Turner)
  • Inform the Forest Restoration Alliance about any potentially HWA-resistant “survivor trees” that literally “stand out” in a stand of otherwise dead hemlock trees
  • Follow HRI on Facebook (“Save The Hemlocks”) or Instagram (@hemlock_restoration_initiative)
  • Make a donation
  • Join our mailing list to hear about upcoming events and other hemlock-related updates
Our Partners in Protecting Hemlocks

Federal Partners
USDA Forest Service
Forest Health Protection*
Southern Research Station
National Forests
National Park Service

State Partners
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
NC Forest Service*
Plant Industry Division–Beneficial Insect Lab
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
NC State Parks
NC Cooperative Extension Service
NC Policy Collaboratory*

Local Government Partners
Buncombe County*
Montreat Landcare Committee
Town of Montreat
Transylvania County
Transylvania Natural Resources Council

Non-profit Partners
American Whitewater
Blue Ridge Conservancy
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development Council
Camcore
Christmount Conference Center
Conserving Carolina
Forest Restoration Alliance
Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust
Mainspring Conservation Trust
MountainTrue
The Nature Conservancy
The North Carolina Arboretum
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
Southwestern NC Resource Conservation & Development Council

Universities and Colleges
Montreat College
University of North Carolina–Asheville
University of Tennessee–Knoxville
Virginia Tech
Warren Wilson College
Western Carolina University

*Current or past funders of HRI