BURDETT, N.Y. — Volunteers are needed to help scientists find the invasive pest that is damaging hemlock trees in New York State. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is an invasive forest insect threatening hemlock trees in the eastern United States. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler and Seneca counties in collaboration with the Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) are hosting a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey Training on Tuesday, March 28 from 12:00pm-2:00pm at the Ravine Loop Trail of the Finger Lakes National Forest. This training will teach participants how to identify hemlock trees, HWA, and understand the process to report their findings to scientists.
Hemlocks grow on steep slopes in areas with moist soils and can be found along streams and lake shorelines. In the Finger Lakes, many gorges are lined with hemlock trees. Hemlock trees are the third most common tree in New York State, and they provide many ecosystem services. “We need all hands-on deck, including volunteers, to help save important hemlock trees in New York State” said Ryan Staychock, the Environmental/Natural Resources Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler and Seneca counties. “Dress for the weather and wear your hiking boots because this hands-on training is being held outside at the Ravine Loop Trail on the Finger Lakes National Forest” added Staychock.
HWA uses it mouthparts to feed on hemlock trees, and if gone untreated, the damage to the trees restricts the flow of water and nutrients to the ends of the twigs, killing emerging buds and preventing new growth. “There is hope to save trees from dying if we can find the infestation, and that’s where volunteers, known as citizen-scientists, are really important” said Matt Gallo, the PRISM Terrestrial Invasive Species Coordinator, who is housed at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.
Registration to attend this training is now open at either www.senecacountycce.org or www.cceschuyler.org or contact Ryan Staychock at 315-539-9251, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Seneca County