LONDON - Walking through a grove of towering hemlock trees in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Alice Mandt
stopped to pick up a small branch that had fallen to the ground.
The hemlock needles on the branch were green and healthy.
"Hopefully we won't find it today; that would be good," she
, left, and Scheff inspected a hemlock branch in Angel Hollow to check for infestation.
Jim Scheff of Kentucky Heartwood, left, and Alice Mandt, Kentucky Division of Forestry's hemlock woolly adelgid coordinator, checked hemlock trees in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Laurel County.
To volunteer, or to find out more about treating trees on your property, call Alice Mandt
at (502) 564-4496 or 1-800-866-0555.
Mandt, who used to work at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, recently was hired by the Division of Forestry as the state hemlock woolly adelgid coordinator.
task: Working with other state agencies to protect trees in a few high-priority areas from an exotic pest that has proven to be unstoppable in other states, and reaching out to private landowners to explain how they can protect their trees.
The day before her
visit to Angel Hollow west of London, Mandt
had been part of a group that applied insecticide to the soil around 500 trees in Kentucky Ridge State Forest in Bell County.
hopes to find private landowners through county extension agents to sell them on the notion that it would be cheaper to spend $10 to treat a tree with an insecticide that would last for a couple of years than it would be to remove a dead tree.
No one, including Mandt
, has any illusions about saving all the state's estimated 71 million hemlocks.
job with optimism.
"What I would like to see us do is save as many of these high-priority areas as we can, and kind of make them close together for later, when more options become available," she