FORECON Forest Resource Specialist Shane Somerville assists the U.S. Forest Service in working to protect 400 year-old trees in the Hearts Content Recreation Area outside Warren, PA.
Domestically, hardwood markets lag behind but somewhat closely track the softwood markets for framing lumber. As housing starts fluctuate, so go the softwood markets, and consequently the hardwood markets. Housing starts (as of January 2016) have reached 1.099 million, up from 1.08 million as of January 2015. The trend shows a slight up and down fluctuation monthly, but the overall trend line is up. Hopefully if this can continue we’ll see a solid strengthening of our hardwood markets.
The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny, piercing and sucking insect, unseen with the naked eye, that feeds on hemlock twigs at the bases of the needles. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an invasive species from Asia. Much of the US East Coast hemlock forest from New Hampshire to Georgia has shown signs of damage from this pest, inhibiting twig growth and causing server damage and mortality to many trees. It has also recently been found in Michigan and it is believed to be expanding its range due to changes in climate.