INVASIVE SPECIES ALERT
Be on the lookout for these invasive species!
BLUE GREEN ALGAE
Click here for the 2017 report.
HAND PULLING WATER CHESTNUTS
Water Chestnuts are a non-native invasive species which originated from Europe, Asia and Africa. Released into the Northeast United States in the mid to late 1800s; water chestnuts are thought to have been introduced to Massachusetts first. By the 1950s the plant had made its way into the Great Lakes Basin.
Water Chestnuts (T. natans) are a non-native invasive species which originated from Europe, Asia and Africa. Released into the Northeast United States in the mid to late 1800s; water chestnuts are thought to have first been introduced in Massachusetts. By the 1950s the plant had made its way into the Great Lakes Basin.
The Water Chestnut grows in slow moving water bodies and in water depths up to 16’. The plants are annuals that can release upwards of 15-20 seeds per year and quickly multiply into a large infestation. Floating seeds will not germinate, but green to greenish brown seeds will sink to the sediment and germinate. The seeds can remain viable for up to 12 years in the sediment which results in the need for repeated annual harvest for 5-12 years to control and eradicate the population. As for biological control, parasites control the population in Europe, Asia, and Africa but a leaf beetle (Galerucella birmanica) had been studied for control in the US by Cornell from 2002-2005.
Water chestnuts can cause many problems for boaters, swimmers, and the ecosystem. The dense, thick mats of vegetation create a hazard for boats driving through. The spiny, sharp seeds can wash up on beaches where people may step on them. The mats of vegetation decrease light below water surface for other plants, thus choking out native aquatic plant species and causing a reduction in waterfowl food. At the end of the growing year, the dying water chestnuts fall to the bottom of the water body and decay. This decaying causes decreased oxygen levels for fish.
Summer 2019 crew: (L_R) Rob Rioux, crew leader; Megan Vandewarker; Maddie Rioux; and Liz Kelsey-Gossard;
HEMLOCK WOOLLY ADELGID
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) has been in NYS since 1985. Its origin in the eastern US are likely from Japan. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid attacks eastern hemlock in NYS. The Adelgid uses long mouth parts to extract sap and nutrients from hemlock foliage. This prevents continued growth causing needles to discolor (from deep green to grayish green), then to drop prematurely. The loss of new shoots and needles causes decline and death of affected trees within 4 to 10 years.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is unusual in that all individuals are female with asexual reproduction. The Adelgid completes two generations a year. The winter generation produces up to 300 eggs and the spring generation produces up to 75 eggs. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid enters a period of dormancy during hot summer months. The biggest concern for the Skaneateles Lake Watershed is that hemlock provides protection of streambeds/banks from erosion. Hemlocks are also highly valued for lumber and ornamentals such as Christmas trees. And, they provide food and shelter for wildlife, especially deer. The good news is that HWA is still “A Pest We CAN Manage!” To learn more, please go to the insect section and find Hemlock Woolly Adelgid at www.nyis.info.
EMERALD ASH BORERPROJECT
In response to the presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive insect that is killing ash trees, Onondaga County has partnered with the District to implement the Onondaga County Ash Tree Management Strategy. Below is a summary of the 2019 progress made with the EAB program:
2019 Tree Injections: 213
2019 Tree Removals: 2,852
2019 Trees Planted: 297
Tree removal locations include the Towns of Van Buren and Pompey, a cut on John Glenn Blvd, Onondaga County Community College, Onondaga Lake Park, Jamesville Beach Park, Pratt’s Falls Park, and at the County’s 911 towers. Over the lifetime of the project, a total of 15,797 ash trees that are a public hazard when they succumb to EAB have been removed from various County properties including highway right-of-ways and parks. The District preserves high-function and high-value ash trees for Onondaga County and other municipalities within the county. Most trees are treated with a systemic insecticide on a 2 year treatment cycle. With the support of state and federal grants, the District has planted a total of 2,117 non-ash, non-host trees in County parks to replace the high-functions and values lost with the ash trees. This year trees were planted at Jamesville Beach and Pratt’s Falls County Parks with grant funds from the USFS’ Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Two community tree planting events were held; one at Jamesville Beach in the spring and one at Pratt’s Falls in the Fall. Onondaga Earth Corps planted the remaining trees and helped to put on the community tree planting events. The District also held a tree planting learning event with ELMS (Expeditionary Learning Middle School) at Long Branch Park.
If you have an ash tree on your property there is a chance it is infested with EAB or will be soon. Even if the tree appears to be alive, it can take several years for a tree to show signs of the infestation. You may begin to see tree crowns become smaller, less dense, and branching density move towards the trunk of the tree. It is safer to be proactive with your options (removal or preservation) than to let the tree die naturally. As the tree dies, it becomes weak which can pose a safety concern for the landowner, public, and the tree removal contractor. Contact an ISA Arborist or NYS certified pesticide applicator in your area to go over options for your tree(s).
EMERALD ASH BORER ON YOUR FARM
The Emerald Ash Borer was confirmed in Onondaga County on July 22, 2013. This is not surprising, as the insect has been detected in 13 counties in New York State, 19 states in the United States, and two additional provinces in Canada.
This non-native boring insect from Asia attacks all ash trees. In May the insect emerges from the bark of ash trees through “D”-shaped exit holes that they created by eating their way out of the tree. In June the adult ash borers feed on leaves of the ash trees. In July the Borers mate; a single female can lay 90 to 200 eggs in the cracks of ash tree bark, which will hatch in approximately three weeks. The larvae then eat their way into the cambium layer of the tree (just under the bark) where they spend one to two years consuming the nutrients that are being translocated between the inner bark and the woody stem of the tree. Upon emergence of the beetle, the entire life cycle of borers starts over.
The constant eating on the ash trees will weaken and kill the trees within three to five years. Contacts in mid-western States such as Michigan tell us that a wind speed of 30 mph, which is a very common occurrence here in central NY, will cause these ash trees to break apart and rain down dangerously sized pieces of tree that can hit targets. These targets can be: farm employees in the field or lawn, farm machinery, and barns and outbuildings. It is also possible for pieces of ash trees to have fallen and be hidden in the crops that are being harvested, potentially damaging machinery. Currently, there are only two methods of treatment for ash trees include 1) cutting to completely remove the threat of hazard or 2) inoculation of the ash trees with pesticides.
Please take a look at the trees in your hedgerows, around your farmstead, and your access roads. If you have a question about the species of trees growing on your property, or would like more information about EAB, please contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA NRCS, and/or Cornell Cooperative Extension office.