For many of you who have hiked to the top of Mt. LeConte, you often ask why there are so many dead trees in the park. I thought I would share a little bit of information about the Balsam woolly adelgid. These small wingless insects were introduced in the United States in the early 1900s. They are an invasive species that originated in Europe. These insects infest and kill fir trees. Since the invasion of the adelgid, found around 1957, the Fraser fir mortality rates have been around 90-99%. A few areas around the park seem to be seeing a rise in regeneration by young firs. Mt. LeConte has seen an increase in the past few years.
It is strange to see old pictures from the 70s that show an amazing amount of healthy fir trees around the lodge. We are happy to see the saplings doing so well. I hope that future generations will see a different mountain filled with fir trees.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!