Buffalo, NY -- Local volunteers and residents are out learning how to inspect trees, because Western New York is on the verge of an invasive species that could devastate many local trees.

It's already been found in our state.

"Cut down whole trees as soon as it's found and that has happened down in Long Island and the Bronx and that is quite devastating to a community to lose a number of tree species," Sharon Bachman, with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, said.

Bachman says they are educating people on how to spot these invasive pests and report it.

"Things like Emerald Ash Borer that we know are here and are impacting our towns, but (we are) also talking about some emerging species," Bachman explained. "Making sure we aren't seeing them. There's one that's called the Asian Long-horned Beetle that impacts a lot of trees, Maples."

Bachman and officials from the NY State Agriculture Department held seminars and went with many volunteers to several different locations this week in Erie County to assess trees and teach them what to look for.

"For Asian Long-horned Beetle, it's going to be a dime size hole in the tree... for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid it's going to be a fluffy white insect on the tree," Bachman said.

Many local trees have been stressed this year with all the rain which can make it easier for insects to invade. Bachman says people looking at their trees in their yards and in parks is what helps them spot possible invasive species and save our local trees.

"Alert people, if they know the signs and symptoms, it's something they can be looking out for, is it a new pest and should we be concerned," Bachman said.

For more information visit: http://nyis.info/index.php?action=invasive_detail&id=26