Join Winter Mapping Challenge for hemlock woolly adelgid

sign of hemlock woolly adelgid
Sign of hemlock woolly adelgid. Photo courtesy Bruce Watt, University of Maine,

Winter is the best time to spot the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, and you can help monitor them from Feb. 12 through March 12 in New York’s first statewide Winter Mapping Challenge. You could win a prize!

The challenge is being hosted by NY iMapInvasives and the NYS Hemlock Initiative.

To participate: Get outside, find some hemlock trees and check for white “fuzz balls” on the undersides of twigs– these are the egg masses. Report your findings to iMap.

Even if you don’t find any signs of hemlock woolly adelgids, let iMap know by submitting a “not-detected” report –these reports are also essential in tracking the distribution of these pests.

The top reporter of presence and not-detected records for hemlock woolly adelgid from Feb. 12 through March 12 will win the challenge.

About the hemlock woolly adelgid

Winter is the best time to look for the tiny hemlock woolly adelgid because you can see the wool that gives it its name. The wool insulates the insect from cool winter temperatures and creates a sac in which to lay eggs during the spring.

This invasive insect has been identified in areas of Western New York and poses a serious threat to the native forest and ornamental hemlock trees.

Eastern hemlock is New York’s third most common tree species and a foundation species in our forests. Hemlocks are important for maintaining healthy wildlife habitats as well as human interests such as water resources. Their loss would drastically change our landscape.

2 Comments on “Join Winter Mapping Challenge for hemlock woolly adelgid

  1. Hi Anita, here is some information from NYS DEC: If you have confirmed your trees are infested with HWA, visit the Hemlock Initiative website for tips on how to manage the infestation with chemical treatment. We recommend confirming the identification first 1) so that DEC is notified in case it is a new town detection and 2) because best treatment practices vary greatly among common hemlock issues. In order to make sure your treatment is going to be successful, you should know it is HWA first.

    While DEC can not recommend specific businesses, we do provide tips for finding a professional arborist or tree service (some of whom have a licensed pesticide applicator on staff).

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