March is filled with days that feel like spring, even if they don’t feel like spring. The angle of the light, the birds and buds, and the blue, silviculture IV’s running from maple to maple all suggest a mood that the temperatures do not.
As we hardy, resilient outdoor types watch the calendar shift from complaining-about-ice season to complaining-about-mud season, there are bound to be some cold, sopping wet days where we just look out the window and think — no.
But there were other things to do this week, thanks to the Adirondack Garden Club, which was hosting Becca Bernacki of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, who was speaking on a quinella of insects that have the potential to do great harm in the forest, and how we can do our part to stop them.
Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on a variety of plants including grapes, hops, and maple trees, posing a severe threat to New York’s forests and agriculture. SLF has been found in several locations in NY but has not yet spread to much of the state. One potential pathway for the spread of SLF is its preferred host plant, tree-of-heaven (TOH), which is already found in many locations across NY.
Volunteers like you are needed to look for SLF and TOH in your area. You can help protect NY’s agriculture and forests by knowing what to look for and how to report it to NY’s official invasive species database, iMapInvasives. Visit iMap’s website to learn about the project and sign up for a grid square on the map to look for these species out in the field.
Join iMapInvasives and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets for some tips on how to find these invasive species (particularly adults and egg masses), and for a recap of the incredible monitoring efforts made by volunteers across the state this year:
Monday October 27, 1 p.m. – Virtual Event: Identifying & Reporting Spotted Lanternfly and Tree-of-heaven with NY iMapInvasives – Register online.
Photo: An adult spotted lanternfly, photo from NYS AGM
My son, wise beyond his years it would seem, taught me an invaluable lesson when he was a teenager living at home. Any time I got worked into a froth about a broken car, leaky roof or other serious, but non-cataclysmic setback, he’d put things in perspective for me: “Pops, it could always be worse – you could be on fire.”
This is a good model to apply to invasive species. Depending on the situation, they can wreak some genuine havoc, but sometimes the perception of danger is so far overblown that other problems ensue. It’s important to place an issue in the proper scale, beyond the fact that we are hopefully not surrounded by flames at the moment.
New York State could use your help to watch for and report signs of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF). This time of year, be on the lookout for SLF egg masses. Freezing temperatures will kill off adult insects, but the egg masses they lay in the fall can be seen throughout the winter. Egg masses tend to be about 1.5 inches long and resemble mud that has dried and cracked. You can find them on just about any flat surface, including vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, etc.
If you believe you have found a SLF egg mass, take a photo and note the location. Then report it to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets by filling out their online reporting form. Together, we can slow the spread of SLF and catch new infestations early.
Photo: Spotted lanternfly egg masses are about 1.5 inches long and resemble dried, cracked mud.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the confirmation of an infestation of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) on Forest Preserve lands in the town of Dresden in Washington County.
When the Asian Giant Hornet was discovered in Washington State Dec.19, it gave rise to a series of eye popping headlines and news stories.
The DEC has released a breakdown of the facts on this species in order to clear up any misinformation or anxiety in the general public. In North America, the Asian Giant Hornet has only been spotted in a small area in Washington state and British Columbia. There have been no AGH found anywhere else in the continent, east coast included.
New York has some common look-alikes, including the European Horney which is half an inch to an inch and a half in length, while the AGH is one to two inches in length.
The Asian Giant Hornet also does not attack humans unless you attempt to handle them, you are within 10 or so feet of their nest, or you are approaching a beehive that they are currently attacking. Their sting is more painful then the usual hornet due to their enormous size, but human deaths caused by AGH strings are extremely rare – about 12 per year worldwide. To put it in perspective, there are about 60 deaths a year in the U.S. alone from bee and hornet stings. However, the AGH will attack and destroy honeybee hives.
I love cherries! Especially sweet cherries. They’re delicious fresh, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and beneficial antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may lower your risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and/or obesity.
Growing consumer education about the antioxidant health benefits of cherries appears to be creating increased demand for the fruit. Domestic cherry consumption in the United States is now around 2 pounds per person per year.
Eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) are one of the most beautiful conifers found in northern New York forests. It can take up to 300 years for them to reach mature heights of up to 70 feet and diameters of up to 3-feet. They commonly live for 500 years and can live for 800 years or longer. Many are among the oldest trees in the state.
In their northern range, they’re found at a variety of elevations (sea level to near 5000 ft.) and on a multiplicity of sites (hillsides, valleys, shorelines, glacial ridges). Hemlocks are commonly found growing in mixed stands, with yellow birch, sugar maple, northern red oak, white ash, American beech, and white pine and can be distinguished from pine and by their short, flat needles. » Continue Reading.
This summer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come through with a new hope for the forces of good. Its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has opened a public comment period, ending on August 14, 2017, relating to the release of a non-native insect to control swallow-wort.
Sometimes called “dog-strangling vine,” this invasive plant from Eurasia doesn’t harm pets, but it does live up to its name as a strangler. There are two species of the perennial vine, and they are both adept at choking out wildflowers, forest seedlings, Christmas tree plantations, hay fields and other habitats. In the Eastern Lake Ontario region, it has proved capable of blanketing large tracts, hundreds of acres in some cases, to create permanent monocultures of tangled, toxic foliage. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the annual Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) Swimming Pool Survey is underway, marking the program’s sixth summer of research work.
DEC invites pool owners, now through August 30, to check their pool filters and help keep watch for these invasive beetles before they cause serious damage to the State’s forests and street trees. DEC and partners will also be hanging tags on host trees to encourage people to learn more about ALB and to demonstrate the potential impacts in neighborhoods and parks. » Continue Reading.
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