Have you seen tree of heaven plants in your neighborhood? This fast-growing invasive tree is easy to identify and found all over NY, particularly in urban areas. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is the preferred host plant of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect being found in more and more parts of NY that could have severe impacts on our state’s agriculture and forests. Finding and reporting tree of heaven to NY iMapInvasives can help supplement state efforts to prevent negative impacts from these two species.
Posts Tagged ‘Invasive Species’
The film will be introduced by Dr. Jennifer Dean, Invasive Species Biologist with the New York Natural Heritage Program. Dean will take questions after the documentary.
Calling all hikers, xc skiiers, and snowshoers in the Saint Lawrence/Eastern Lake Ontario (SLELO) Region! Our friends at SLELO PRISM invite you to take a hike to protect the region’s hemlocks (and win cool prizes) this winter through their Virtual Hike Challenge. The challenge is running now through March 1st, and you can participate any time you get outside. All you need to do is take a hike, check a hemlock for signs of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, and take a photo. Share a photo of your experience on Facebook with the hashtag #VirtualHikeChallenge for a chance to win prizes!
You can find more information about the challenge, including featured trails, on the SLELO PRISM website. Brush up on hemlock ID, and take a quiz to test your knowledge on the New York State Hemlock Initiative website. Happy trails!
Photo: White woolly egg masses of invasive HWA on a hemlock branch
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District closes out 2021 with the release of their Annual Report. The document details the District’s 2021 programs, projects, and events.
“The accomplishments listed in our 2021 Annual Report would not be possible without the steadfast support from our Board of Directors, the Soil and Water Conservation Committee, Association of Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hamilton County, and local organizations and agencies” said District Manager Caitlin Stewart. “Technicians Lenny Croote and Jaime Parslow, and Clerk Marj Remias provided expert and excellent service to landowners and municipalities year round.”
Highlights from the District’s Annual Report include:
Sometime in the 1990s, a mutant crayfish able to conquer and degrade aquatic systems emerged as a result of secret German experiments gone awry. The marmorkreb, a.k.a. marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis), is a destructive new species that first appeared aquariums in Germany. However, it’s more likely the result of too much inbreeding in captivity, rather than some mad-scientist scheme, that led to their mutation. They are now here, and your help scouting for them is invaluable.
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
Painting: Dawn Loading by Kathleen Kolb
“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.” David Henry Thoreau’s statement, funny in a way, also brings to mind the grave harm done to cultures around the world by Western powers in the guise of “helping” them. In a less horrific sense it applies to how we’ve “assisted” nature to disastrous ends. Cane toads in Australia, mongoose in Hawaii, Kudzu in the Southeast, and Asian harlequin ladybeetles that invade our homes each fall are a few examples of being too helpful.
I get a lot of questions from folks who’ve recently purchased a few acres of forest or home on a wooded lot and want to know if they should clear brush, thin trees, or do other things to improve the woods. It’s a fair question, and an important one.
The defoliation of trees this spring and summer by Gypsy Moth (also known as Lymantria dispar) caterpillars left a lot of local property owners feeling helpless to protect their beloved trees. Should we expect similar problems next year? What can be done to prevent infestation, or lessen the damage?
On Thursday, September 23rd, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Warren County and the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District will host a discussion on Gypsy Moth caterpillar infestation featuring Rob Cole from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Forest Health. Cole and Soil & Water Conservation staff will give a general overview of the problems these caterpillars can cause, and how property owners can safely address them this fall and next spring.
“This past year was eye-opening for many people in our county and region, and this presentation will provide some understanding of this insect, its affects and what may be anticipated for next year and beyond,” explained Jim Lieberum, District Manager for Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District.
This event will be livestreamed through the Warren County YouTube page, and those interested in the subject can attend at Warren County Municipal Center as well. Participants will be able to ask questions during the presentation through YouTube chat, and we are encouraging people to submit questions or comments ahead of time for efficiency.
Please email questions or comments to: [email protected], with the subject line Gypsy Moth 2021
Giant hogweed plants are now blooming across many parts of the state, making it a prime time to spot this harmful invasive. Giant hogweed is a large plant from Eurasia with sap that can cause painful burns and scarring.
Adult giant hogweed plants tend to be 7-14 feet tall with umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers up to 2.5 feet wide. The stem is green with purple splotches and coarse white hairs, and leaves are large (up to 5 feet across), incised, and deeply lobed. You can find more identification tips, including a table of lookalikes, on our website.
If you think you have found giant hogweed, do not touch it. From a safe distance, take photos of the plant’s stem, leaves, flower, seeds, and the whole plant. Then report your sighting to DEC by emailing photos and location information to [email protected] or calling (845) 256-3111. DEC staff will confirm if it is giant hogweed and discuss plans for management if it is a site not yet being managed by DEC.
Aquatic invasive species, such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels, can clog lakes, outcompete native wildlife, and harm ecosystems. Identifying these species early, before populations grow out of control, is essential for protecting the lakes we love from the negative impacts of invasive species. The state legislature recently passed a law that makes the New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Act permanent and allows pilot programs in the Adirondacks to further efforts to prevent invasive species. You can do your part by always cleaning, draining and drying your boat, fishing gear and sports equipment when moving from one waterbody to another.
And as an Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) Lake Protector, you can do more! Citizen scientists have surveyed over 400 lakes throughout the Adirondacks for invasives species in order to support critical early detection efforts. Lake Protector volunteers will learn how to identify, survey and record data about aquatic invasive plants. Once trained, volunteers can adopt an Adirondack lake or other waterbody to survey between July and September. APIPP provides all the training and resources you need to be part of this extraordinary network.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and its partners kick off this year’s Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW), June 6 – 12, with a free “Love Your Lakes” workshop on Wednesday, June 9, at 7pm. This online webinar will explore everything novice and experienced boaters need to know to prevent the spread of harmful invasive plants and animals when exploring North Country waters.
“With so many new and returning visitors to our Adirondack waterways, this workshop is a great way to ‘dive’ into summer and learn how protect our lakes and rivers,” said Tammara Van Ryn, APIPP Manager.
The Adirondack region’s five main watersheds host more than 11,000 lakes and ponds and over 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.
State’s Firewood Regulations Limit Firewood Movement to Protect New York Forests
With the start of the 2021 camping season underway, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid have encouraged campers to use local firewood and follow New York State firewood regulations to help prevent the spread of invasive species. Untreated firewood – firewood that has not met the state’s heat treatment standard – can contain invasive pests that kill trees. To protect New York’s forests, untreated firewood should not be moved more than 50 miles from its source of origin.
Biological Control Release Underway Bolsters Second Round of Treatment to Limit Spread of Invasive, Tree-Killing Pest
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and partners announced that additional efforts to limit the spread of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) on Forest Preserve lands in Washington County are underway. DEC forestry staff are treating 29 acres of infested hemlock stands near Shelving Rock and additional infested hemlocks near Paradise Bay. DEC is partnering with the New York State Hemlock Initiative and Cornell University to release Leucopis silver flies, a biological control for HWA, near Paradise Bay. These efforts are part of an ongoing, multi-year initiative to control the HWA infestation along the shores of Lake George that was discovered last August. Additional partners in these treatment efforts include the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC).
Until recently, ignoring problems in hopes they’ll go away hasn’t served me well. However, a decade-long study done by Cornell University researchers has clearly shown that avoidance is the best way to manage garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata), a pernicious exotic plant. Evidently I’ve been doing a great job in the fight against this aggressive and troublesome invader.
Native to most of Europe and parts of western Asia and northwestern Africa, garlic mustard is in the cabbage and broccoli family (Brassicaceae), and indeed was imported to North America as a culinary herb in the early 1800s. It’s not entirely evil, as it has the spicy tang of mustard with a hint of garlic, and can be used as a base for pesto and sauces, and to flavor salads, soups and other dishes. Unfortunately, eating it has not worked well as a control strategy.
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