From 2017 to 2019, MRG inoculated over 2,000 eastern hemlock trees against the hemlock woolly adelgid and hemlock scale.
Prior to resuming a schedule of repeated basal bark spraying in 2021, MRG scientists are participating in the New York State Hemlock Initiative to help establish a population of the Laricobius nigrinus beetle, a promising biocontrol that feeds on the hemlock woolly adelgid. In 2020, masked and socially distant, MRG staff and NYS Hemlock Initiative Field and Lab Technician Nick Dietschler headed into the forest to release a new batch of beetles. This beetle is a specialist predator that feeds exclusively on developing and adult woolly adelgid throughout the fall and winter months. A native to the Pacific Northwest, the hope is the Laricobius nigrinus beetle will thrive on the adelgids infesting eastern hemlocks as well as it has on its original source of food, the native woolly adelgids found on western and mountain hemlocks.
Visit https://blogs.cornell.edu/nyshemlockinitiative/ to learn more about the NYS hemlock initiative and biocontrols like the Laricobius nigrinus beetle.