Local groups organize to combat invasive species that attacks hemlock trees

Nature preserves in the Finger Lakes region are in danger of losing hemlock trees to an invasive insect known as the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Infestations of hemlock woolly adelgid appear to be on the rise, said Megan Webster, the district manager for Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, according to Daily Messenger.

Hemlock trees grow near waterways and on stream banks. They’re vital in stabilizing soil and controlling erosion, both of which help protect water quality. They also provide shade that regulates the temperature of water bodies.

The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association will be working with Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, the New York State Hemlock Initiative, and other regional partners to develop and implement a plan to fight hemlock woolly adelgid infestations across Ontario County.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Workshop will be held on Sunday, February 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Cumming Nature Center at 6472 Gulick Rd. in South Bristol. Attendees will learn how to identify, survey, and report hemlock woolly adelgid using the iMaps Invasives map.

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