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HWA Here to Stay?

Posted on Jan 9, 2015

It’s official friends, HWA has been found in Chautauqua County. Over the holidays, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) was encountered on a number of Eastern Hemlock trees (Tsuga canadensis) near Fredonia. These trees exhibited the signs and symptoms of the invasive insect’s presence, having twigs covered in white woolly masses and dying needles, discolored due to loss of nutrients. Due to its small size and discrete nature, HWA can easily go undetected until it is too late, and death of the attacked hemlock is inevitable. However, it CAN be stopped and we CAN help the hemlocks throughout our region. HWA has no place here, and we can keep it at bay by educating ourselves on it (and spreading the word to friends, family members, neighbors), beginning to surveying for it (on your own property, or help a friend look on theirs) and starting to report its presence or even lack thereof. Negative results, in this case, are a good thing!

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid-1287

The white woolly masses at the base of the Hemlock’s needles are a sure sign of the presence of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.

Last month, we teamed up with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE) to present a collaborative Forest Pest Informational Session. Along with HWA we presented on Emerald Ash Borer, another invasive insect infiltrating Chautauqua County. The link below provides the PowerPoint information about both pesky species, how to identify them and their host trees, and what to do if either are found: FP Info Session.

Please take a moment to look through the presentation and keep a lookout for our upcoming survey efforts and related projects for these invasive species. We will be getting out during the winter months to look for HWA specifically and invite anyone that might be interested to join us. We will also be posting signs in a number of designated locations, as a part of our joint efforts with CCE, making information accessible on the winter trails and providing an outlet to report any positive or negative results. Let’s make HWA’s stay short here in Chautauqua County and do our part in being stewards of our abundant and beautiful natural resources!

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician