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Resources

Below are some resources that explain the process of tracking and treating trees:

Tree Tracker

Click the map image below to see trees that have been treated in Whisper Lake:

WL TreatedTrees Map Screenshot

Self Treatment

If you'd like to self treat your hemlock trees, simply contact the committee and then it's as easy as:

  1. Locate and measure your trees
  2. Send this information to the committee
  3. Treat your trees with a simple soil drench application using a DIY kit provided by the committee

More detailed information can be downloaded from the link below:

Community Events

24
May
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 24 May 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

31
May
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 31 May 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

07
Jun
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 07 June 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

14
Jun
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 14 June 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

21
Jun
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 21 June 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

28
Jun
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 28 June 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

05
Jul
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 05 July 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

12
Jul
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 12 July 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

19
Jul
Whisper Lake Community Dock
Date: 19 July 2022, 05:30 PM
Drinks on the Dock

Hemlock trees are found throughout Western North Carolina, including the Whisper Lake community, but they are under immediate threat from the hemlock wooly adelgid.

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In an effort to preserve the hemlocks within Whisper Lake, a committee was formed to investigate treatment options and advise property owners on actions they can take to save this precious species.  

 

About the Committee

Formed in 2018, the Whisper Lake Hemlock Committee is a group of concerned residents who have volunteered their time and energies to help save and preserve the surviving hemlocks in our neighborhood. The current committee consists of Duncan Baker & Malice Grant, Terry & Cyndy Dawkins and Edgar & Robyn Restrepo.

The intent behind the committee’s efforts is to encourage and track the treatment of the hemlocks within Whisper Lake, and to provide advice to and facilitate treatment by residents. 

The committee encourages all property owners to get involved in this effort, as it not only maintains our natural environment but also reduces expense (preventing the need to cut down a dead tree) and supports higher property values. The committee is available to answer questions, advise on treatment options (including self-treating or hiring tree specialists), track tree locations and treatments, and, for those that opt to self-treat, provide treatment mixes and instructions for a suggested donation to cover costs.

If you have questions or would like more information on hemlocks, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

How Do You Identify a Hemlock?

The hemlocks found throughout Whisper Lake range from small trees (3ft or less) to some of the tallest trees found in the community, standing side-by-side similar height pine trees. The taller hemlocks are hundreds of years old, and it is these older ones that need help most immediately.

The trees have short, flat, blunt needles about half an inch long. During the fall, winter and early spring, infected trees have a white, snow-like build up on the underside of the branches near the base of the needle. Infected trees are far harder to distinguish during the summer months, beyond a lack of needles and other signs of poor health.

hemlock 1 

Why are Hemlocks Important?

The southern Appalachian Mountains are home to two hemlock species: the Eastern or Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)  and the Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana). The Carolina hemlock has an extremely limited range and occurs primarily in Western NC with a few small pockets in neighboring states. The Eastern hemlock, on the other hand, dominates the eastern forest landscape, occurring up and down the east coast from Canada to Alabama, and spreading as far west as Minnesota. The majority of the hemlocks in Whisper Lake are Eastern hemlocks.

Both species play an incredibly important role in the ecosystems in which they are found. Some of their more notable features include:

  • Serving as source of food and shelter in eastern forests, particularly in winter when hardwood trees are dormant;
  • Providing an ideal habitat for delicate native plant communities;
  • Intercepting precipitation, preventing nutrient run-off and sedimentation;
  • Providing water to watersheds, and conversely, taking up excess water, making flooding events less severe.

 

What's Endangering the Hemlocks?

While there are several factors endangering these very important trees, both species have fallen victim to the wooly adelgid, a small aphid-like bug that attaches to hemlock trees at the base of the needle towards the tips of the branches and feeds on the starch reserves found there. This introduced pest attacks both the Eastern (Canadian) and Carolina hemlock, often drastically damaging or killing them within a few years of becoming infested. The wooly adelgid is now established in approximately half of the range of the Eastern hemlock and the entire range of Carolina hemlock. It has been found from northeastern Georgia up the east coast into Canada and as far west as eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. It is unlikely that any hemlocks within Whisper Lake are not already infected, and therefore being affected, by the wooly adelgid – indeed, there are many dying and already dead.

wooly adelgid 1

 

What Can You Do?

It's not difficult to save the trees with a simple treatment once every 5 years or so in the fall or spring, and we’re hoping that all home and lot owners will be encouraged to ensure our neighborhood retains its natural beauty! The Hemlock Committee is willing to put together a DIY treatment kit, available for a suggested donation and at significantly less expense than having your trees professionally treated, specifically designed for your needs.

If you would like to self treat your trees, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can download more information about self treating from the link below:

Below are some documents available for download to assist with explaining the process of and tracking treatments:

All donations go towards purchasing materials and treating hemlocks in common areas. Suggested donations vary based on the diameter of the tree at breast height - the wider the tree, the more chemical is required to treat it - and the chemical used. Some example suggested donations:

  • Up to 3" diameter: $4
  • Up to 6" diameter: $5
  • Up to 9" diameter: $6
  • Up to 12" diameter: $10

If you don't have any hemlocks on your property but would like to help the treatment of those in common areas, please consider donating to the cause. If you're interested in treating, donating or would like more information, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Which Trees Have Been Treated?

The committee is tracking which trees have been treated so owners can be alerted when retreatment is required. Click here to see a map of approximate locations of treated trees. Once on the map, click on a pin to find out more information for that particular tree.

Scenes from the Neighborhood

Contact Details

Whisper Lake POA, Inc.
PO Box 127, Sapphire, NC 28774
info@whisperlakenc.com

To speak to someone by phone, please call POA Support, our property management company: (828) 743-9200

Want to send a message to the community?

If you have an event or information that would be useful to the members of the Whisper Lake community, our Communications Committee will format and send out the email on your behalf. Send your request to info@whisperlakenc.com. Please make sure all requests comply with our Email Guidelines.

Stay In the Know

Make sure you're signed up to receive community emails from Whisper Lake. We send out emails about events, emergency notices and other information useful for residents and property owners.

If you are a current Whisper Lake property owner and you are not receiving emails, or have never provided an email address to the Whisper Lake POA, please contact POA Support to have them update your owner record.

Thank you!