Springtime means a new season in fight against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

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LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Springtime in places like Shelving Rock Falls and Glen Island Campground mean melting ice and high tides.

This year, it also means crews of state employees returning to take care of the trees.

Staff from the New York State DEC have returned to both sites in recent weeks to resume injecting around 30 acres of hemlock trees with pesticides, specifically designed to take out the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an invasive insect first found around Glen Island last August.

The invasive species feeds on hemlock branches, causing the fourth-most-seen tree in New York forests to die off.

The invasives multiply twice a year – in the spring and in the fall – meaning the DEC has to treat trees during both periods of time.

It also means sending insects that prey on the adelgid out as a method of population control, as the DEC continues to search for more places where the invasive has made a new home.

This week, the state released silverflies around the area east of Lake George where they’ve been working, joining laricobius beetles that were deployed there before winter set in.

The reality for the DEC is that finding and eliminating every instance of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Adirondack Park was never going to happen in a single year.

In addition to around Lake George, the invasive has also been found around Moreau Lake and Saratoga. And it’s likely that many of those infestations have been there for years.

The adelgid is often carried by birds, during the parts of the year when egg sacs are mature enough to attach to wings or feet.

Hikers in the Adirondack Park who want to help can keep an eye out for white, woolly masses on the undersides of hemlock branches and needles.

Those who find such evidence are asked to take photos and take note of GPS locations, and send that information to the DEC at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov; contact the Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM); or report the infestation on iMapInvasives, a community-driven invasive identification service.

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