Posted by Sean Flynt on 2012-05-01

Samford University will host a free public symposium focused on the threatened Eastern Hemlock tree June 7.

Jefferson County, Ala., is home to the southern-most population of Eastern Hemlock trees, which elsewhere are being devastated by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid pest.

Alabama’s hemlocks are, so far, protected by their isolation. There is still time to develop a strategy to save this as-yet untouched population at the southern boundary of the hemlock’s native range and extend the growth of the trees

The Samford symposium--“Preserving the Eastern Hemlock in Alabama”—hopes to bring together local, state and national elected officials, researchers, educators, agency representatives, nonprofit and community leaders, attorneys, planners, scouts and other youth groups and business people focused on that challenge.

Symposium session leaders will include:

• Ms. LayLa Burgess, School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University

• Dr. Joseph Culin, School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University

• Dr. Jerome Grant, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee

• Mr. William Hascher, arborist manager at the Biltmore Estate

• Dr. Evan Preisser, Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island

• Mr. Rusty Rhea, Forest Health Protection at the USDA Forest Service, Region 8

A lunch buffet will be available in the Samford University Dining Hall for $7.75.

For information and registration, email

 Visit "Preserving the Eastern Hemlock" on Facebook

About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.