We had been in a new house in Murphy, North Carolina, for about a week when I took a good look at the Hemlock Tree that was growing next to the house. You can tell from the picture below that it was a pretty large tree!

You can’t tell from the picture, but a lot of needles were getting onto the roof, so we decided to take the tree down. We used Carrion Tree Service out of Hiawassee, Georgia. When they showed up, they showed up with an army of workers and some great equipment. The chipper they used was incredible – it actually chewed up big chunks of the tree trunk.

Because of all the workers Carrion had, they got the tree down in less than an hour.

It was incredible to watch – one guy actually climbed the tree with a chain saw in hand, taking down limbs one at a time.

Not something I would do!

Anyway, when he topped the tree, it was really quite fun to watch. See the video took here.

After the tree came down, one worker showed us that the tree was rotting from the inside.

I researched hemlock trees and here is what Wikipedia had to say:

The two eastern North American species, T. canadensis and T. caroliniana, are under serious threat by the sap-sucking insect Adelges tsugae (hemlock woolly adelgid).This adelgid, related to the aphids, was introduced accidentally from eastern Asia, where it is only a minor pest. Extensive mortality has occurred, particularly east of the Appalachian Mountains. The Asian species are resistant to this pest, and the two western American hemlocks are moderately resistant. In North America, hemlocks are also attacked by hemlock looper. Larger infected hemlocks have large, relatively high root systems that can bring other trees down if one falls. The foliage of young trees is often browsed by deer, and the seeds are eaten by finches and small rodents.

Old trees are commonly attacked by various fungal disease and decay species, notably Heterobasidion annosum and Armillaria species, which rot the heartwood and eventually leave the tree liable to windthrow, and Rhizina undulata, which may kill groups of trees following minor grass fires that activate growth of the Rhizina spores.

They are a very pretty tree but, if you have one, you may want to see how it is doing.

For those of you in the Murphy, NC area, I highly recommend Carrion Tree Service.