Seeking Volunteers! Help us survey for hemlock woolly adelgid

Right now there is an initiative to train citizen scientists to “adopt” as many locations in the Adirondacks as possible that have high densities of hemlocks and survey them on a regular basis for the presence of hemlock woolly adelgid. The Lake George Land Conservancy is asking for volunteers to monitor all of its preserves. We will provide the training for those that are interested. Please email Warren or call 518-644-9673 for more information or to volunteer!

Native to Asia, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) (HWA) is an aphid that was first introduced to America more than 60 years ago and has been spreading approximately 15 miles/year. Many areas in the east have lost almost all of their hemlocks. For example, in the Great Smokey Mountains, almost 99% of the hemlocks have died. Because of the unique qualities of the hemlock forest to riparian corridors, wildlife habitat, and forest aesthetics, and the fact that it occurs in very high densities in many areas, loss of this species may be as devastating to the ecological systems of the Lake George watershed as the loss of American chestnut and elm species.

HWA infestations have been confirmed as close as southern Saratoga County. The key to preventing a wide infestation is to detect an initial outbreak as soon as possible. With early detection, infested trees can be removed and/or pesticides applied to contain the outbreak. The long-term solution is to release predators that feed only on the aphids. Certain predatory beetles and flies have been identified and successfully released in other areas of New York.