DEC: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid invasive returns to Adirondack Park

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DRESDEN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Not long after another invasive was confirmed at the south end of the Adirondack Park in Warren County, the state Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed Tuesday that an infestation of another species had come to the park. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was found on preserve land in the Washington County town of Dresden.

The invasive was found on Glen Island Campground, on the shore of Lake George. The insect attacks hemlock trees, feeding on twigs and causing branches to die off. A DEC forest health specialist found one heavily infested tree, with two more lightly infested.

It’s the second confirmed infestation of the invasive in the Adirondack Park, after it was first found on Prospect Mountain in 2017. That infestation has been eradicated.

“This latest detection of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an important reminder for all New Yorkers to report and remain on the lookout for invasive species in communities around the state,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a release Tuesday. “Early detection remains a key tool in monitoring and addressing invasive species of all kinds, so continue to stay vigilant and informed to help protect our natural resources and economy.”

DEC is now evaluating how to deal with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. For some invasives, cutting down affected trees would be the answer, but that method is not as effective for the Adelgid. Instead, use of insecticides is being considered which would be applied to bark near tree bases for absorption.

The DEC says the invasive spreads via wind patterns and animal movements. Egg sacks and crawler-stage insects will stick to animals as they travel. The most comment means of spreading the Adelgid is people moving nursery stock animals that have been infested.

Similarly, the DEC said last week that the Emerald Ash Borer, another invasive insect in the region, is sometimes spread by moving ash tree firewood containing larvae.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid originates in East Asia, and was first found in New York in 1985. Previous infestations have led to hemlock deaths in the Appalachian Mountains and southern Catskill Mountains. The hemlock trees they target make up around 10 percent of the Adirondack Park.

Possible infestations can be reported to Cornell’s New York State Hemlock Initiative, or the DEC website.

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