Invasive Species

As you are out and about this summer, be on the lookout for these invasive species.

Non-native invasive species have long impacted Western New York. Below are some of the newest invasive species in the area.  For more information, please see the links below or check out the New York Invasive Species YouTube Channel.



Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis)
Emerald Ash Borer photo

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that has infested Western New York ash trees.  This destructive pest spreads among the ash trees by feeding on leaves and under the bark, killing the tree.  The EAB infestations are expected to spread across all of New York State, eventually attacking all ash trees.

Erie County has developed a long-term strategy and has begun removing and replacing dead trees in public parks that have been affected by EAB.  This will be an ongoing process as the Emerald Ash Borer moves through Western New York. 

The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning and Parks, Recreation & Forestry are active members of the WNY Emerald Ash Borer Task Force in an effort to remain proactive with Emerald Ash Borer resources and strategies.

What Should Homeowners Do?

  • View the informational brochure, “Emerald Ash Borer: How You Can Help” for guidance on ash tree identification, EAB life stages, and signs of infestation. 
  • View the current EAB Risk Map  for Western New York to see where it has been identified.
  • If you live outside of WNY, please report your detection to Cornell Cooperative Extension - (716) 652-5400, Ext. #150.
  • Learn factors to decide whether to consider treating or removing infested trees from your property:
      • How healthy is your tree canopy? 
      • How large is your tree?
      • Is there much evidence of woodpecker damage on your tree(s)?
  • For more guidance on replacement, treating, removing, timbering or other EAB infestation please follow these links:

KIDS!!   Learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer while doing some fun activities:

Photo: (

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Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Garlic Mustard second year photoGarlic Mustard has the ability to spread through forests and reduce diversity in the forest understory. Be on the lookout for the Garlic Mustard removal challenge in the springtime. 
Photo: David Cappaert, Michigan State University, (

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Do not touch this plant! The sap can cause severe skin and eye irritation.Giant Hogweed photo

Photo: ( 





Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)

Hydrilla photoHydrilla can be spread by boaters and waterfowl.  Please be on the lookout and take precautions when moving your recreational watercraft to other bodies of water.

Photo: Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, (

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Water Chestnut (Trapa natans

Water Chestnut photo

Water Chestnut can also be spread by boaters and waterfowl.  Please be on the lookout and take precautions when moving your recreational watercraft to other bodies of water.

Last Updated: Wednesday June 7th, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Last updated: August 25, 2017 10:04am