The Eastern Hemlock thrives in the ravines and steep slopes in the southern sections of Cayuga County. It is estimated that the Eastern Hemlock makes up ten percent of the tree coverage within the Owasco Lake Watershed. The invasive specie, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has been identified in Scipio and surrounding townships. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is best identified during the winter months when their white, woolly growth stands out on the Hemlock twig. The environmental concern is when the Hemlock stands die off their root structure will no longer hold the ravine slopes in place causing major erosion and sediment into Owasco Lake.
Recently, six members of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association completed training and are now, official Owasco Hemlock Hunters in the Cornell Hemlock Initiative. This winter they will be surveying the ravines in Scipio, and near Cascade to identify healthy stands of Hemlock and to document areas of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid infestation. Property owners will be contacted for permission to survey and access the tree stands along the ravine sites identified.