The fuzzy white spots on the needles of this tree are the dreaded Hemlock Wooly adelgid. These small, aphid-like insects can suck the life out of the ancient hemlock trees. The park service is trying "biological warfare" to attempt to eradicate these non-native pests. By introducing a small beetle that eats the aphids, it is hoped they will be wiped out. Let's just hope the adelgids are all they eat! Most of the balsam firs in the higher altitudes of the park have just about been killed out by the similar Balsam Wooly Adelgid. It is sad to see the sun-bleached skeletons of the beautiful, fragrant balsam fir trees at Clingmans Dome. When a large number of a species of tree is lost, it adversely affects the ecosystem. With the ATBI (All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory), scientists are learning more about the inter-dependence of plants, animals, soil, and weather.