Managing hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) in Grimes Glen in Naples is underway thanks to efforts by Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District with support from CLWA.

HWA is an aphid-like invasive insect that has been affecting hemlock trees in our region for the last decade. Hemlocks are some of the largest and most beautiful trees in the Finger Lakes forest. Because they are shade tolerant, they grow in gullies and help to stabilize slopes and riparian corridors, support native assemblies of plants and animals, and keep our streams cool. HWA is a major threat to the stability of our tributaries that drain into the lake, and their loss could have negative outcomes on our water quality.

In 2022, local funding and technical support were leveraged to obtain a U.S. Forest Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to implement a coordinated strategic Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) management initiative across Ontario County in public land areas. Grimes Glen was identified as a high-priority treatment area for HWA and was the first to be treated, with the first round of trees protected in November 2022. Treatments will continue at Grimes Glen in the spring of 2023. Other Ontario County management areas will include Briggs Gully in the Honeoye watershed, and Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation area. HWA treatments are being used to save ecologically important hemlock trees as biocontrols are being further developed.

Efforts are continuing this winter, and CLWA is focusing efforts on the impact HWA is having on private lands. Survey assistance is being offered to private property owners in the Canandaigua Lake watershed by our team of well-trained volunteers.

If you would like an HWA survey, please visit the CLWA website to fill out a survey request form: www.canandaigualakeassoc.org/education-outreach/hemlock-woolly-adlegid/hwasurveyform/. The information we collect on your tree stand health will aid in prioritizing watershed areas for HWA management efforts in the future.