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HemlockA Forest Giant on the Edge$
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David R. Foster, Anthony D'Amato, and Benjamin Baiser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300179385

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300179385.001.0001

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Hemlock’s Future in the Context of Its Past

Hemlock’s Future in the Context of Its Past

(p.1) One Hemlock’s Future in the Context of Its Past
David R. Foster
Yale University Press

The hemlock, a long-lived evergreen tree, suffered the heaviest decline from the landscape destruction following the arrival of Europeans in North America. Since the days of the Civil War, the hemlock has reasserted its way into the forests and returned to its prominence in the northern landscape and the eastern forests. This chapter studies the hemlock's past, present, and future, beginning with its prominence following centuries of abuse and exploitation. By examining the hemlock, important issues about forest conservation can be addressed. The chapter also describes the impact of the spread of hemlock woolly adelgid, an insect that found its way to the forests of North America and which is threatening the existence of the hemlock trees. It compares the advancing decline of the hemlock to that of chestnut in the early twentieth century and of the hemlock 5,000 years ago and then following European settlement.

Keywords:   hemlock, North America, eastern forests, forest conservation, woolly adelgid, chestnut, European settlement

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