8-22-13 W.Va. expands war against hemlock pest

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is expanding its war against an insect that feeds on hemlock trees.

The Department of Agriculture’s two-year-old pilot project to provide landowners an affordable option for battling the hemlock wooly adelgid has been limited to the area around the New and Gauley rivers. The project is being expanded to all 46 West Virginia counties where the pest is known to exist.

Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick says the program is only one of its kind in the country. Others have provided treatment on public property, but not for private landowners.

Sept. 30 is the deadline to apply. Landowners must pay $1.50 to $2 per inch of a tree’s diameter at breast height, depending on the type of treatment.

More information is available at www.wvagriculture.org .

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