Dead Fir Trees at Clingman’s Dome

Clingman’s Dome, at 6,643 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is the second highest point in the eastern United States.  On a clear day you can see over one hundred miles and seven states, although the norm is about twenty two miles. (Obviously, this was not one of those days) When you visit the peak, you will notice most of the older spruce fir trees are dead.  This is due to a parasitic insect , the Balsam Woolly Adelgid, which was brought over from Japan accidentally in the 1950s. These are now being controlled by by a beetle, intentionally brought from Japan in the 1990’s to eat this parasite.  New spruce fir trees are rapidly replacing the dead trees, but it will be many years before Clingman will be home to the large trees that inhabited the area only a few years ago.  Information from http://www.smokiesrental.com/clingmans_dome.htm. Sarcasm and photo by me. 
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