The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DEC Announced that they, along with Cornell University’s NYS Hemlock Initiative, The Adirondack Invasive Plant Program, Lake George Land Conservancy, and The Fund for Lake George, are developing a plan to mitigate the spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid HWA on Forest Preserve Lands in the towns of Dresden and Fort Ann, in Washington County. The DEC confirmed the HWA infestation August of 2020, in infected hemlock trees at the Glen Island Campground on the shore of Lake George. This marks the second infestation of HWA in the Adirondacks.
The most effective treatment in bringing HWA under control is the use of insecticides, which consists of a basal park application. The pesticides are sprayed at the base of the tree, and consists of applications of dinotefuran, a fast-acting insecticide which quickly curbs HWA populations. Imidacloprid is also used to ensure long term protection for the hemlock trees in the area and to prevent spread of HWA to un-infested trees. The DEC and its partners are planning to begin treatment of the infestation this fall, before HWA has the opportunity to spread the coming spring. In addition to treatment, the DEC and Cornell are evaluating the use of biological control methods to supplement these treatments.
Early detection along with rapid response to invasive pests is critical to protecting our natural resources, and the DEC and its partners’ efforts to further prevent the spread of HWA is critical to ensuring the longevity of Lake George watershed’s hemlock forests. Signs of HWA on hemlock trees are white woolly masses (ovisacs) about one-quarter the size of a cotton swab on the underside of branches, at the base of needles. Gray-tinted foliage and needle loss also suggest HWA infestation. If you happen across a potential infestation, take pictures (including something for scale, like a coin). Note the location using mile markers, landmarks or GPS coordinates. Contact the DEC or the Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management PRISM, report the infestation to iMapinvasives, and 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.
To report an infestation, or to learn more about HWA visit this link, or call the DEC’s Forest Pest Information Line at 1-866-640-0652.