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Electronics Recycle Event – Lyons, NY

The District is holding a FREE electronics recycling event on Tuesday, April 5th and Wednesday April 6th for Wayne County Residents. Registration is required. Click here to read more and to register!

The New York State Hemlock Initiative

The New York State Hemlock Initiative represents the efforts of scientists, natural resources professionals, and New York residents united in their love for hemlock trees and dedication to hemlock conservation.

In the past three months, volunteers have recorded a flurry of new observations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) across our region. In 2023, volunteers have recorded 28 confirmed observations of HWA, and 18 non-detections of HWA, for a total of 46 observations. Some of these observations were made in under-surveyed locations as well, such as Broome, Madison, and Chenango counties. These observations have made measurable impact on our understanding of HWA in the Finger Lakes. With this additional data, land managers in our region can better prioritize resources towards those new infestations, knowing they have time to get to the eastern counties. But what land managers are we talking about

Read more here https://blogs.cornell.edu/nyshemlockinitiative/biocontrol-program/hwa-research/


Also,  please save the date for FL-Prism Spring Webinar Series sessions:
April 20th – Christine Chin, Professor of Art and Architecture at Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Concerning Climate: Art About Climate
May 18th – Evan Abramson, Founder and Principal of Landscape Interactions – Native Pollinator-Plant Interactions: Designing Landscapes + Corridors to Support Regional Biodiversity

March is Ag Month

Every March we celebrate spring and agriculture in New York State! Over the next few weeks we’ll focus on different agriculture practices and BMPs. Agriculture is part of our history, heritage, and values, and continues as an important part of our
culture and rural economy. Ag month is a the perfect opportunity for all of us to better appreciate agriculture’s breadth and beauty!

Pictured above, Steve Olson, of Hidden Canyon Farm, Steve and Susan Olson own and operate a 40 cow/calf beef farm, specializing in high quality meat production located in Lyons, NY

Free Seedlings Available to Qualified Landowners

Photo Courtesy NYS DEC

NYSDEC recently announced that the application period for the ‘Trees for Tribs’ “Buffer in a Bag” Program is now open. Qualifying private and public landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting near streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat.

DEC’s Trees for Tribs Buffer in a Bag program provides free tree and shrub seedlings for organizations and private landowners to create or improve stream buffers on their property. The seedlings are available to qualified landowners for streamside plantings under DEC Buffer in a Bag Program Learn more at https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/77710.html#Bag

Riparian buffers are strips of vegetation (trees, shrubs or grass) planted next to streams or other waterbodies. By planting vegetation along streams, space is created between the water and upland land uses, which helps protect the water quality and stream habitat. To qualify, landowners must have property in New York State with at least 50 feet bordering a stream, river, or lake, and provide photos or a map of the planting location.

Previous recipients are encouraged to reapply to continue to build riparian buffers. Applicants are eligible for one bag of 25 seedlings and recipients are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. A total of 350 bags will be available statewide for this round of applications. The 2023 Buffer in a Bag program, application requirements, and the April 7 deadline.  Applications are due by 3 p.m.

These mighty waterside plants start out small, but their impacts are huge:

🌱 They help reduce pollution from entering waterways
🌱 They absorb rain during storms, which slows flooding
🌱 Their roots hold soil in place, which prevents erosion
🌱 The provide wildlife habitat both on land and in the water
🌱 They provide shade, which cools water temperatures and protects native fish
🌱 They absorb and store carbon dioxide, which helps combat climate change

Contact treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov with questions and visit DEC’s Trees for Tribs webpage to learn more.

Windbreaks and Privacy Row – Tree Sale

Diagram showing a windbreak and relationship between windbreak height and the subsequent impact on wind velocity (from: Tree Windbreaks for Farms and Homes, Purdue University Extension).

The Tree and Shrub Sale offers great stock if you are planning a windbreak or privacy row. Start with at least 3-4 rows. The Norway Spruce is excellent and is a fast growing (2-3’ per year) it can grow up to 5 ft a year in a good weather year, another conifer for the tall row is Douglas Fir. For the medium row, Eastern White Pine or White Spruce, for low row, a mixture of shrubs like Lilac or Hazelnut.

Tree and shrub windbreaks are valuable conservation tools with many functions:
🌲Reduced soil erosion — Windbreaks prevent wind erosion for 10 to 20 times their height downwind. They also filter wind-blown soil particles from the air.
🌲Energy conservation — Windbreaks can reduce winter heating costs 20 to 40% by reducing cold air infiltration into buildings. In summer water evaporation from leaves directly cools the air. Windbreaks can be designed to provide energy savings for a small residential lot, a farmstead, or an entire housing development.
🌲Wildlife habitat — In open areas where windbreaks are needed for wind reduction, they may also provide the only woody cover and food necessary for some wildlife species.
🌲Beauty — Trees provide visual screening and permanence in the landscape that other types of plants can not.
🌲Crop protection — Windbreaks can increase crop yields up to 44%. Wind protection reduces crop water use, increases a plant’s ability to make food, and may increase pollination. Quality of fruit and other high value crops can be increased due to reduced sand and soil abrasion.
🌲Snow control — Windbreaks can serve as “living snowfences”, controlling drifts near roads, buildings, or livestock or distributing snow evenly over large areas like
crop fields. Money and energy are saved by reduced need for snow plowing and artificial snow fences.
🌲Livestock protection —Windbreaks can be used as“outdoor barns,” sheltered areas for feeding, calving, and other livestock-related activities.
For questions or design ideas, call 315-946-7200 or email drew@waynenyswcd.org

Help our Hemlocks – Take the Challenge

Join the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Winter Mapping Challenge and win prizes! From Feb 1 – March 15, 2023, the iMap user who surveys the most sites* for HWA during the challenge wins a prize from the NYS Hemlock Initiative. Visit https://www.nyimapinvasives.org/hwa for more information and to get started.

1. Get outside and look for hemlock trees.

2. Check for white fuzz balls on the undersides of hemlock twigs – these are HWA egg masses.

3.  Report your findings to iMap – submit a presence or not-detected record to document your effort.

#hwa #imapchallenge #imapinvasives #communityscience #citizenscience #maps #nyoutside #recreatelocal #insects #entomology #invasivespecies #winter #hiking

Great Backyard Birdcount

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts tomorrow, February 17th and runs through the 20th. The Backyard Bird Count is a four day annual event, the world comes together for the love of birds!!

The Backyard Bird Count is a four day annual event, the world comes together for the love of birds!! Over these four days the public is invited to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and report them. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. Visit Cornell Labs for reporting and more information. https://www.birdcount.org/

Conservation Packs

The 2023 Forever Green Tree & Shrub sale is underway. This year the District is offering five different types of conservation packs. These are great starters for the garden. Each pack is $20 and contains 2 of each 5 different species. Order with payment due by March 10, 2023

Native New York Wildlife; 2 each of White Pine, Red osier Dogwood, Black Cherry Tree, Hazelnut Bush, Juneberry Bush

Perennial Plant Pack;  2 each of Dream Baby Daylilly, Stella De Oro Daylilly, Mixed Peony, and White Iris

Butterfly and Bird Pack; 2 each of Butterfly Bush, Elderberry, Lilatris, Ninebark, Stella Dora Daylily

Ornamental Flowering Pack; 2 each of Ninebark, Butterfly Bush, Lilac, Rose of Sharon, White Flowering Dogwood

Pond Habitat Pack
Pond Habitat Pack; 2 each of Red osier dogwood, Buttonbush, Sycamore, River Birch, Willow

Hosta Pack Pack
Hosta Plant Pack, 2 of each species/ variety of Ventricosa, Hyacinthia, Albo Marginata, F. Aureo Marginata, Honey Bells

Time to Check for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Winter is the best time to look for evidence of an infestation. Cooler temperatures trigger feeding activity, and as the hemlock woolly adelgids feed, they secrete a white, waxy material that creates ovisacs. The presence of these small, round, white masses makes it possible to identify infested trees. As they feed, these tiny, soft-bodied insects consume a hemlock’s stored nutrients, slowly sucking the life from the tree.

The eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is one of the most important tree species in our region. These trees cast the most shade of any native tree species, and a hemlock canopy creates unique environments that many other species such as brook trout rely on. Hemlocks also tend to grow on the cliffs of many of the gorges around the Finger Lakes. If we lose hemlocks, it becomes increasingly likely that these cliffsides will collapse and alter many of our waterways. By protecting hemlocks, not only are trees themselves protected, but also the organisms that rely on them for habitat.

The Finger Lakes PRISM is launching its annual Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Survey and they are looking for clubs and individuals to help them out. The 2022 was a pilot year for the HWA Survey and it was a great success. Across 12 events PRISM trained and recruited 181 people to scour for HWA across our region and recorded over 80 observations. For 2023, they would like to build upon the progress!

What is the FL-PRISM HWA Survey?

FL-PRISM created the survey to find new populations of HWA in the region and help prioritize control measures where hemlocks can still be saved. They train volunteers on what hemlock woolly adelgids are why they are a threat. Once trained they are lead them on a guided hike to find HWA. If left unchecked, HWA threatens to wipe out the eastern hemlock, one of our most important native tree species.

What would working with the HWA Survey look like?

The process for the HWA survey is simple. Your organization will set up a date with the Finger Lakes PRISM where they will deliver a presentation (can be over zoom, in the field, or at an event space) and then lead volunteers to search for HWA on local hemlock trees. The entire process usually runs about 2 hours. They are open for scheduling training events with partners on weekdays or weekends from January 4th to the end of April (with the exception of 2/16-2/19 and 3/10-3/20).

If interested Contact Matt Gallo gallo@hws.edu to set up a workshop session, share advertisements about the HWAS on social media
Signup for the survey here: https://forms.gle/NYfU5yYe67f5KjF57 (opens new tab)

Study examines feeding damage caused by spotted lanternflies on young maples

Findings can help production nurseries, forest managers make decisions to protect their inventories

Reprinted with permission from Morning Ag Clips

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Short-term, heaving feeding by adult spotted lanternflies on young maple trees inhibits photosynthesis, potentially impairing the tree’s growth by up to 50 percent, according to a new study by Penn State scientists. According to the researchers, the findings can help production nurseries and forest managers make management decisions to protect their inventories.

“Spotted lanternfly will feed on important ornamental and forest trees such as silver and red maple, which are used to make products and are abundant across urban, suburban and rural landscapes throughout Pennsylvania,” said Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, who added that Pennsylvania’s forest products industry has a total economic impact of $36 billion.This planthopper, which originated in Asia, was found for the first time in the U.S. in Berks County in 2014 and since has spread to 45 Pennsylvania counties and surrounding states. The pest uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on sap from more than 100 plant species, with a strong preference for tree-of-heaven — also an invasive species — and wild and cultivated grapes.

“While the spotted lanternfly likely co-evolved with its preferred host, tree-of-heaven, in its native range, the effects on the health and physiology of tree hosts native to the U.S. have not been investigated,” Hoover said.

The scientists began their two-year study in 2019 in a common garden area in Blandon. They collected spotted lanternflies at two ages: adults and fourth instar nymphs, the last stage of development before adulthood. The researchers then placed the insects in different “densities” — or number of insects per plant — on silver maple, red maple, black walnut and tree-of-heaven saplings. During the first year, they looked at how feeding pressure on a single branch affected tree physiology. In the second year of the study, when the trees were more established, the team investigated the effect of nymph and adult feeding using whole-tree enclosures. The scientists defined heavy feeding as when the number of pests blanketed the tree.

“This process produces the nonstructural carbohydrates that trees need to grow and produce flowers or fruit,” Hoover said. “When plants are under stress, they use a variety of strategies to defend themselves; they may shift rates of photosynthesis and alter the allocation of carbon and nitrogen resources to growth or induced plant defenses.”

The team’s findings, recently published in Frontiers of Insect Science, show that adult spotted lanternfly feeding does thwart photosynthesis, thereby stunting the growth of young saplings. However, there was variation depending on tree species, pest density and time post-infestation.

The researchers found that nymphs on a single branch of red maple or silver maple at different densities had no significant effects on gas exchange

In contrast, 40 adults confined to a single branch of red or silver maple rapidly suppressed photosynthesis and reduced nitrogen concentration in leaves. Soluble sugars in branch wood were reduced in the fall for silver maple and in the following spring for red maple. (Read more here) New Tab