Invasive Species Control

Managing invasive species is a major focus of Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Natural Areas Program. A non-native plant or animal is considered “invasive” if its spread impacts the long-term integrity of local ecological communities.

 Our management efforts involve:

  • controlling highly invasive species that have infested our natural areas
  • working to prevent their spread to new locations, and
  • striving to prevent new invasive species from being introduced or established.

We make significant effort to control the most damaging plant invaders, including pale swallow-wort (Cynanchum rossicum), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Norway maple (Acer platanoides), common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), and amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii).

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Control

The presence of hemlock woolly adelgids in the central Finger Lakes region poses a significant threat to our natural areas.  This invasive insect, which has decimated eastern hemlock stands throughout the eastern U.S., has now been found on trees at multiple locations, including Cascadilla Gorge, Beebe Lake, Fall Creek Gorge, Fall Creek South, Coy Glen, Warren Woods, Edwards Lake Cliffs, Fisher Old Growth Forest, Carter Creek, Steep Hollow Creek, and Renwick Slope.

To learn more about the hemlock woolly adelgid, what
Cornell Botanic Gardens is doing about it, and what you can do to curb its spread, click here.

Emerald Ash Borer

Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found across the midwest and northeast, including Tompkins County in 2018.  To view a map of known EAB locations and quarantined counties in the state, visit here. To help stop or slow the spread and provide critical time to identify control strategies, please remember to NOT MOVE FIREWOOD.  To report suspect ash trees, visit the USDA APHIS site here. To learn more about EAB, visit the following sites:

Invasive Species Code of Conduct

To prevent the intentional introduction of new invasive plant species, Cornell Botanic Gardens has adopted a policy on the use of non-native plants in our accessioned collections.  The purpose of the document and its recommendations is to balance our public garden mission of maintaining diverse horticultural collections with our conservation mission of preserving natural areas and the broader environment.  The policy includes Cornell Botanic Gardens' "Code of Conduct" principles, invasive species risk assessment and evaluation protocols, and lists of species considered highly to moderately invasive to natural areas in the central Finger Lakes region, including watch list species.  Visit here to read the full policy.