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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Brevard in Transylvania County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Forest Decline

 
 
Forest Decline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 8, 2012
1. Forest Decline Marker
Inscription.
What killed the trees? The balsam wooly adelgid, a pinhead-size insect native to Europe, is responsible. It began attacking the Fraser fir forests here in the 1970s. The red spruce, unaffected by the adelgid, survives in the midst of this devastated forest.

Airborne pollutants that change the chemical composition of fog, rain, and snow also might contribute to forest decline. Studies suggest these pollutants combine with moisture in the air to form “acid precipitation,” one of the factors suspected of slowing the growth of trees and making them more vulnerable to disease and insect damage.

Scientists are seeking ways to reverse this forest decline. Meanwhile it is possible that future generations of Fraser firs will develop their own defense against these destructive influences.

[ Sidebar : ]
The adelgid usually selects a 15 to 20-year-old tree as a host. It feeds by inserting a slender mouthpart through the tree’s bark. This feeding causes cellular changes in the tree that block the tree’s ability to transport life-sustaining fluids.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Blue Ridge Parkway marker series.
 
Location. 35° 19.634′ 
Forest Decline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 8, 2012
2. Forest Decline Marker
N, 82° 57.907′ W. Marker is near Brevard, North Carolina, in Transylvania County. Marker is on Blue Ridge Parkway (at milepost 431), 8 miles south of Lake Logan Road (North Carolina Route 215), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located On the Blue Ridge Parkway, at the Richard Balsam Overlook. Marker is in this post office area: Brevard NC 28712, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Highest Elevation on Blue Ridge Parkway (a few steps from this marker); North Carolina Confederate Veterans Memorial Forest (approx. 3.8 miles away); Devil's Courthouse (approx. 4 miles away); Looking Glass Rock (approx. 7.7 miles away); Rutherford Trace (approx. 9.9 miles away); a different marker also named Rutherford Trace (approx. 10.2 miles away); Forestry School (approx. 10.5 miles away); Rock House Creek Lodge (approx. 10.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brevard.
 
More about this marker. A picture of the needles and cones of Fraser Fir and Red Spruce appear on the marker. The sidebar includes an illustration of an adelgid feeding on the bark of a tree, along with the lifecycle of the insect, from egg to motile larva to resting larva to adult.
 
Also see . . .  History of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Marker on the Blue Ridge Parkway image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 8, 2012
3. Marker on the Blue Ridge Parkway
(Submitted on August 29, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
Forest from the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 8, 2012
4. Forest from the Marker
The view from the marker shows some dead Fraser fir trees along with some surviving red spruces.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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