Cayuga Lake Watershed Networks Holds HWA Workshop and Hike

March 13, 2015
Hilary Lambert organized the event on campus to educate the local community about the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid.
student with branch holding hemlock woody adelgid

Hilary Lambert, steward and executive director for the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (CLWN), led a Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Workshop and Hike on the Wells campus this week. Participants gathered in the visitor parking lot and heard a brief overview of the threat that hemlock wooly adelgid represents to the region’s trees and landscape as well as a short training in identifying the insect’s presence in hemlock trees. From there, the small group struck out through Wells’ own landscape, discussing the history of the invasive species and potential treatments as they waded through the snow to examine hemlocks on the College property. Staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and Cayuga County and the Canandaigua Lake Association provided additional information and anecdotes from their own experiences and research.

Lambert brought along a “Hemlock Guardians HWA I.D. Kit” for each participant with information on identification of hemlock wooly adelgid and procedures for marking and reporting its locations if found. “I sent this information out to all the various nearby town supervisors and clerks as well,” said Lambert. “It’s important to make sure that local folks know what’s going on and what can be done about it, even if they don’t have time to come out to campus for the hike.” Those who would like a copy of the packet for themselves can email steward@cayugalake.org for that information.

Cody Primmer ’15, physics major and intern with CLWN, took a day out of his own spring break to come back to campus for the workshop. “Before today, I hadn’t even heard of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid,” he said. “Now I not only know what it looks like and how to find it, but that it’s a problem right here on campus.”

While most of the hemlocks the group examined in the area towards the southern end of campus were clear, there was a patch of trees that had evidence of the species living on them. Lambert and Primmer collected samples, took precise note of their location, and plan to discuss the next steps with Wells’ environmental science faculty and local invasive species tracking groups. Left untreated, HWA will kill a hemlock tree in a few years, but it can be treated fairly inexpensively.

Wells’ partnership with CLWN, which has their headquarters on campus in Stratton Hall, allows for many connections between the environmental advocacy group and Wells’ students and faculty in biology, environmental science, and chemistry. To learn more, visit www.cayugalake.org.

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