Take Action Against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid:
PART 1: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid’s Impacts to Adirondacks Forests*
Join the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program and expert researchers from the New York State Hemlock Initiative to learn all about this damaging invasive insect, understand how to identify HWA in the field, and gain the skills you need to take action to protect local forests. The best way to aid Hemlock forests against the negative impacts of HWA, is to find it early before infestations grow out of control. Part 2 of this Citizen Science Training to be held on Wednesday, March 3rd from 10:00 to 11:00 am, participants have the option to join live via Zoom or watch recorded webinars to custom fit scheduling needs.
*Live participation in Part 1of this workshop counts towards 1.5 Continuing Education Credits to maintain certifications through the Society of American Foresters. Please indicate on the RSVP form that you are interested in receiving SAF CE credits.
Date: Thursday, February 25th2021, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Take Action Against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid – Impacts, ID, & Citizen Science
PART 2: Citizen Scientist Training – Learn How to Hunt for HWA
Led by partners from the Adirondack Mountain Club, Capital Region PRISM, and Lake George Land Conservancy, participants will learn how to adopt a trailhead, carry out self-guided HWA field surveys, and collect environmental data using iMapInvasives, a free, easy-to-use, mobile mapping tool. This is an excellent way to support the lands you love and get involved with local conservation while hiking, x-country skiing, or snowshoeing this winter.
To maximize this training, APIPP highly recommends signing up for a free iMapInvasives Account prior to the workshop. Self-guided iMap Trainings are available to walk you through the process if you want to get started using these fun maps.
Date: Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021, 10:00 to 11:00 am
Eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) are considered a foundational species in New York’s forests, meaning they not only are a part of the ecosystem, they create it as well. These native conifers are found along waterways and on slopes, and provide many ecosystem services including habitat for animals and erosion control. Hemlocks are the third most common tree species in New York, so can you imagine if they all went away? Unfortunately, this vision isn’t as far-fetched as you may think.
Since the 1980s, a small invasive pest called Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) (HWA) has been making its way around the state threatening our hemlock trees. HWA is an aphid-like sapsucker that attaches and feeds at the base of hemlock needles. Eggs hatch in the spring and the immature HWA begin their search for a fresh needle to feed on. HWA infestations travel slowly at about 10 miles per year on its own but bird migration and firewood can help spread the infestations at a much faster pace. Once settled, the HWA undergo a period of dormancy in the summer then begin feeding throughout the fall and winter.
During this feeding time, the HWA will develop a white, woolly mass around its body to keep warm during the winter months and to provide a sac for the eggs to be laid in the spring. HWA is easiest to spot when covered in the white wool, but can also be identified without it if you look close enough. During the late summer and early fall, HWA crawlers looks like a sesame seed sitting at the base of a hemlock needle and can barely be seen with the naked eye.
Once an infestation has become established, the feeding can disrupt the flow of water and nutrients to the branches, inhibiting new growth. After a few years, visible needle loss or discoloration becomes more prevalent, indicating the death of the tree. Although it takes a while for HWA to cause significant damage, it is important to identify an infestation early so the spread can be limited and trees can be saved.
Suspected infestations can be reported to NYSDEC Forest Health, email@example.com, your local PRISM, or iMapInvasives. iMapInvasives is a GIS-based application that helps track the spread of invasive species; visit www.imapinvasives.org to download. Once an infestation is confirmed, experts in forest health will determine the next step of action to stopping the spread. Integrated pest management is considered the best management practice for controlling species like HWA, which includes early detection and utilizing tactics like chemical treatments or releasing biological controls. For more information visit the Cornell Hemlock Initiative: https://blogs.cornell.edu/nyshemlockinitiative/