The DEC has provided an invasive insect update on the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) that was initially discovered in August of 2020 at Glen Island Campground. There’s bad and good news, and steps for you to take should you come across it.
What to Know About HWA in Lake George & Close By
The bad news is that crews found more instances of infestations in the region beyond the Glen Island Campground. The good news is that it’s been caught early, which is vital to preventing further spread.
After discovering the infestation last year treatment began in October and was conducted over a four-week period. Following that, DEC and partners looked for more signs of infestation in the area, and findings were uncovered at Shelving Rock, Buck Mountain Trailhead, Dome Island, on private property along the southern shore of Lake George in Queensbury, and at Moreau Lake State Park.
Annual treatments are being planned in the infested areas and additional strategies are being considered.
What is HWA & What are the Effects?
The hemlock woolly adelgid is an aphid-like insect that attacks North American hemlock trees. They are tiny and tough to spot, but the infestations are easily identifiable by the white wooly masses formed on the underside of branches, at the base of the needles. As the aphids feed, they severely damage the crown or canopy of the host tree by blocking the flow of nutrients to twigs and needles.
Here’s How You Can Help While You’re Out & About
These white wooly masses you’ll see on the trees are about one-quarter of the size of a cotton swab, and you might also see gray-tinted foliage and needle loss. Keep an eye out while you’re hiking, snowshoeing, or spending time outdoors, and follow these steps from the DEC:
- Take pictures of the infestation signs and include something for scale such as a coin
- Note the location, including intersecting roads, landmarks, or GPS coordinates
- Contact DEC (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.866.640.0652) or local Partnership for Regional Invasive Specials Management (PRISM)
- Report the infestation to iMapInvasives
- Slow the spread of HWA by cleaning equipment or gear after it has been near an infestation and by leaving infested material where it was found
HWA is native to East Asia and was first discovered in the US in 1951 in Virginia, and first in New York State in 1985. Infestations have severely affected the Appalachian Mountains and southern Catskill Mountains, but with your help we can stop the spread of HWA in the Adirondack Park and North Country.