Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) (HWA) is native to parts of Asia and was first discovered in New York in 1985. It is in the family Adelgidae, which is related to aphids. The adelgid uses long mouth parts to extract sap and nutrients from hemlock foliage, this prevents free growth, causing needles to discolor from deep green to grayish green, and to drop prematurely. The loss of new shoots and needles seriously impairs tree health. Infestation is usually fatal to the host after several years. Valued plantings of the shade-loving eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) can be ravaged by the hemlock woolly adelgid, and the natural stands of hemlock in the forests and parks in upstate New York would be greatly affected if the pest spreads to those locations. The wind, birds, other wildlife and the movement of infested host material (wood) by humans are all factors in the dispersion of the adelgid.

From the first discovery of the hemlock woolly adelgid in the Hudson Valley in the 1980’s, the insect has spread north and west to the Catskills, the Capital Region and even the Finger Lakes and other parts of Western New York. Currently 25 New York counties are infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Anytime between February and May is good for sampling, though snow on hemlocks usually precludes starting surveys in the middle of winter. The picture above shows the underside of an infested branch.  You are looking for the white woolly ovisacs. If you find evidence during a hike, Cornell set up an online reporting, for both positive and negative reports that you are encouraged to use.  They share the results with DEC and USFS annually. Just click on the link above.

Our thanks to Gene for keeping this pest on our radar, and to Todd Bittner at Cornell for sharing the survey link and the picture above with us.

The Erie Railroad in Springwater

1884 Route Map

1884 Map for the Erie Railroad

The New York and Erie Rail Road was chartered April 24, 1832 and construction from Port Jarvis near NYC began in 1836.  A completed line to Dunkirk on Lake Erie opened May 19, 1861. This line proved influential in the development and economic growth of the Southern Tier, including Hornell, the home of the Erie Railroad repair shops until 1960.

In 1853, the Buffalo, Corning and New York Railroad opened the Erie line between Painted Post and Avon, through Cohocton, Wayland, Springwater, Webster Crossing and Conesus.

In 1895, the Lehigh Valley Railroad (one of five railroads serving Rochester, NY) extended its line to the northern shores of Hemlock Lake. This line did not connect to the line through Springwater.  In 1899, one mile of track was removed at Hemlock Lake, as the City of Rochester took over the lake for its water supply.

The Erie Railroad tracks were removed in 1956 by order of the United States Interstate Commerce Commission in order to promote highway transportation.

Pool Owners Sought To Participate In Citizen Science Survey To Identify Invasive Beetle

The following press release was received via Email on August 3, 2016. As stated below, more information is available by clicking on the ALB and the Pool Survey webpage.


If you own a pool, look for ALB in your pool filters.

For Immediate Release: 08/01/16

Contact: Lori Severino | (518) 402-8000

Press Office | PressOffice@dec.ny.gov

Pool owners are invited to join in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fifth annual Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) Swimming Pool Survey now through August 30 to help keep watch for these exotic, invasive beetles before they cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. The Citizen Pool Survey takes place this time of year when ALBs are expected to emerge from and become active outside of the trees they are infesting.

ALBs are originally from Asia and have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the nation, particularly in maple trees in: New York City; Long Island; New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Worcester, Massachusetts and Clermont, Ohio. DEC’s Forest Health Program developed a simple and easy survey for people to participate in who have swimming pools and are willing to keep an eye out for these insects.

Pool monitoring offers a simple, economical approach to surveying for ALBs in the state and has the potential to become New York’s most effective method for detecting the invasive beetles. In addition, this monitoring program gives residents the ability to take an active role in protecting the trees in their yards, communities and forests. With citizens involved in looking for this pest, there is a better chance of finding new infestations early, helping DEC and other state and federal agencies focus their efforts to eliminate infestations.

In addition to owning a swimming pool, participants will need:

  1. A digital camera or phone that takes photos.
  2. The ability to send a photo via email or text message.

Those that don’t have a pool can still help. DEC expanded its photo collection to include anyone who spots a suspect beetle, whether it is found in their pool or not. Residents are also encouraged to submit photos if they believe they’ve found an emerald ash borer (EAB) (see what it looks like on DEC’s EAB web page) or another invasive pest damaging trees. Photos can be submitted to the forest health program email address listed below.

Directions for participating in the pool survey are outlined below:

Step 1: Through the month of August (when adults are active), check the debris collected in your filter and skimmers at least once a week or when you clean your pool.

Step 2: Look for the ALB (See what it looks like on DEC’s ALB web page). Contact the Forest Health Program (see phone number and email address below) for a sheet to help identify insects collected.

Step 3: Take a picture of any insect you think might be an ALB.

Step 4: Send the photos of the insects that look like ALB to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov.

Step 5: Freeze the insect in a plastic container until DEC staff respond (typically that will be about a week). Staff will either instruct the participant to discard the insect or give instructions on mailing it, delivering it, or arranging for pick-up.

For more information on ALB and the Pool Survey, visit DEC’s website. To sign up for the survey, contact:

NYSDEC Forest Health Program
Attn: Jessica Cancelliere
E-mail: foresthealth@dec.ny.gov
Phone: 518.478.7813

National Park Service – 100th anniversary, and more for Summer 2016 – Just Sayin’

The National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its 100th Anniversary with events from 2015 through 2016.  You may have not been aware of this celebratory anniversary, which is actually on August 25, 2016.

Here is one on-line article which extols some free admission days to NPS parks which normally have an admission fee.

What else has 100 year anniversary in 2016?

>> Well, for those of you with ties to the City of Rochester, NY, you may find the following of interest.   2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the city annexing the Village of Charlotte from the Town of Greece. Charlotte was a populous center in the Town of Greece, and was in fact a village within the Town of Greece prior to being annexed into the City of Rochester.

“Back in the day”, cities in NYS had powers of annexation granted to them by the NYS legislature in order to encourage economic growth in NYS.  (Fast forward to today, such powers and impetus ceased to exist decades ago.)  In fact, the City of Rochester over time annexed several parcels of towns surrounding it, and annexation could make for some odd lying property boundaries and associated quirks.

On point of annexation of the Village of Charlotte, the City of Rochester had over time coveted Charlotte as having a port on the Great Lake of Ontario and the Genesee River, wishing for those navigable waters to be in city limits.  In fact more than one attempt was made prior to 1916 to claim the Port of Charlotte for the city’s own.  But those attempts failed, unlike the final attempt that succeeded and became effective in 1916.

It was not unusual for Annexation attempts to be hotly contested, and pros and cons existed, and many points of view would be the case in such annexation attempts.

In years and decades before annexing the Village of Charlotte, the City of Rochester annexed other lands from surrounding towns.  In fact in the push of city limits northward (west of the Genesee River) a number of annexations occurred from the Town of Greece.  One substantial driver of this was the expansion of Eastman Kodak Company, and the desire of Kodak to have city services in the areas that it owned.

>> For those of you who shop at the iconic Rochester, NY based Wegmans’s Food Markets, you may be interested to know that Wegman’s stores have origin in 1916 in Rochester, and so Wegman’s celebrates 100 years in 2016 with some special initiatives.

Jumping to today, and a bit off topic, but within the Town of Greece, on June 11 & 12, 2016 is the Street Machines of Rochester super cruise and car show 2016 in Badgerow Park North.   Eye candy and more for vintage car enthusiasts. – – –  Perhaps a reason to cruise northward to this car show.  Timing on Saturday, June 11th is quite impeccable, being that the Saturday late afternoon/early evening outdoor car show (4PM-8PM) follows the ADK Outdoor Expo which is held in Mendon Ponds Park and which ends at 4PM.  Saturday’s Super Cruise is free admission (flyer), Sunday’s Car Show has $3 spectator admission fee (flyer).

And, for you super cruise night junkies, Friday and Thursday evenings present some distinct possibilities.  Every Friday during the summer at the Damascus (Shriner’s) Temple at 979 Bay Rd, Webster, NY there is a super cruise night.  www.rochestercruisenights.com   And, on Thursdays during the summer at the Charcoal Corral / Silver Lake Drive-in located at Silver Lake (Perry), NY cruise nights are held.  http://charcoalcorral.com/wp2014/blog/2012/03/29/cruise-night-schedule/   Both of these have food available for purchasing, thus allowing for getting dinner and checking out the cars.


Back to anniversary topics. – – – What about 200 year anniversaries?

Well, The Town of Springwater, NY originated in April 1816 by act of the NYS legislature.  And, Springwater Trails is helping to recognize this bicentennial, leading hikes in the Springwater Trails Bicentennial Hike Series scheduled on the third Sunday of each month April through December 2016.

And what about 400 year anniversaries?  2016 holds the 400th year since the death of playwright William Shakespeare.  – – –  A tip.  If you enjoy Shakespeare presentations plein air, check out either of these 2016 Shakespeare presentations.  1) Romeo and Juliet at Highland Park Bowl (at Highland Park in Rochester) July 15-30 (no Monday or Thursday performances) produced by Shakespeare Players (of Rochester Community Players) who has for decades now been presenting summer outdoor Shakespeare productions “in the bowl” ; or  2) “Shake On The Lake” (SOTL) productions of The Twelfth Night at various venues (Silver Lake is the “home” venue) in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier Regions during late July thru mid August 2016.  2016 is the fifth year of SOTL summer Shakespeare productions, the inaugural was in 2012.

So, if you appreciate Shakespeare plein air, you’ve some opportunities.  An appreciating Springwater Trails Hike Planner may wish to consider possibilities of coupling a Springwater Trails (S/T) hike nearby to a Shakespeare plein air performance for making of a S/T hike combo event, be it this summer or a future year’s summer.