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NY finishes first round of fight against tree-killing insect

January 24, 2021 GMT

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) — New York environmental officials have finished the first round of a fight against an insect that has been killing upstate hemlock trees around Lake George, with plans for more treatments in the works.

Since October, the state has treated more than 2,000 hemlocks with insecticide on 138 acres in Paradise Bay to guard against the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid, The Albany Times-Union reported Saturday. The New York State Hemlock Initiative has also released more than 600 beetles that prey on the adelgids.

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The adelgids were first seen at the Glen Island Campground last summer and infected trees on more than 250 acres, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Department officials say new areas of infestation have been found around Lake George, and there are plans for consecutive annual treatments of trees in infested areas.

The hemlock wooly adelgid is a tiny insect that has killed tens of millions of hemlock trees while spreading northward from the Appalachian region. It first arrived in New York in the 1980s and has since been found in 43 counties.