|Centre County Pennsylvania Tree Farmer|
Jim Walizer shows a hemlock branch
covered with adelgid.
UNIVERSITY PARK — Pennsylvania’s state tree — the eastern hemlock — is threatened by a bug in about three-quarters of counties. Local farmers hope to draw attention to the problem, and Penn State researchers are working to find a natural enemy to combat the bug — the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Landowners and Penn State, state and federal forestry officials gathered on campus Tuesday for a public forum on the issue, hosted by U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township. Thompson, chairman of the subcommittee on conservation, energy and forestry, organized the forum after retired farmer Jim Walizer approached him for help with the insect.
Walizer, a retired farmer who lives in Walker Township, bought forest land in 1984, then attended a forestry session with Penn State’s Cooperative Extension, and became involved with various groups, including the Pennsylvania Forestry Association.
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