Hemlock roots led to Socrates’s famous end, but the trees themselves are facing a deadly threat on Cornell’s campus. A devastating infestation of wooly adelgids is currently invading the University’s hemlock trees.
The aphid-like insects appear as fluffy white sacs at the base of the needle, causing infected trees to die within four to eight years of exposure at nearly a 100-percent mortality rate.
Cornell natural areas staff first spotted signs of pest infestation about a month ago above Cascadilla Gorge, according to the University.
Hemlock wooly adelgids, an invasive species native to Japan, have now been identified in 19 areas of the Finger Lakes region, including Cornell Plantations, Cascadilla Gorge and Beebe Lake, according to a University press release.