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Hemlock killing insect found in Acadia National Park

Native to Asia, the hemlock woolly adelgid, or HWA, is an invasive insect that attacks North American hemlocks, and it's been discovered in Acadia National Park.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The tree-killing pest known as hemlock wooly adelgid, or HWA, has been found in Acadia National Park’s forests for the first time. 

According to park natural resource specialist Jesse Wheeler, HWAs suck the nutrients out of our eastern hemlock trees and kill them after several years. 

“Our native eastern hemlock trees are an important part of our ecosystems,” Wheeler said. “They tend to grow on north-facing slopes or along stream banks.” 

Wheeler told NEWS CENTER Maine, that the insect was found near Jordan Stream in July. 

“Right now, we’re in the process of identifying where are hemlocks are, identifying where Hemlock woolly adelgid is, and then prioritizing significant hemlock resources to be able to respond to and come up with a monitoring and management plan for those hemlocks to try and save some of them,” added Wheeler. 

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On Monday, the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission will meet to discuss a range of topics relating to the park, including the discovery of hemlock wooly adelgid. 

Other meeting topics include:

  • Superintendent’s update on the 2022 season and other topics.

  • Major construction projects, including the park headquarters maintenance complex, Schoodic water and wastewater rehabilitation, and Duck Brook bridge repair.

  • Reports from Friends of Acadia and Schoodic Institute.

The commission will meet in person at Moore Auditorium at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor at 1 p.m.

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