Media report on team’s prediction that warming planet will harm hemlock

The Associated Press and Maine Public reported a team of University of Maine researchers has predicted that hemlock trees will be at risk of accelerated decline as winters warm in the Northeast. Today, an estimated 26 percent of the region’s hemlock stands are at high risk. As winters get warmer, the decline will increase, with 43 percent of stands expected to be at high risk, according to the team led by William Livingston, an associate professor of forest resources. “Because the model we had was something where we could vary the temperature, we warmed up winter temperatures by 2 degrees and found that, yes, that decline of hemlock then started creeping northward,” Livingston told Maine Public. Eastern hemlocks are towering trees that grow from southern Canada to Alabama. The trees have economic value as they’re used in the lumber industry, the AP reported. U.S. News & World Report and WLBZ (Channel 2) carried the AP report.