News and happenings across the North Fork

North Fork News

Bad News For Tree Lovers

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County announced that the emerald ash borer has been found for the first time on the East End — on private property in the Town of Southold. Cornell confirmed the discovery of larval specimens from infested trees earlier this month.

The emerald ash borer is native to Asia and was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. This invasive beetle infests and kills North American ash species, including green, white, black, and blue ash. Although not a large component of Long Island’s forest ecosystem, ash trees are often used as an amenity or shade tree in landscapes and along roadsides.

Infestation is difficult to detect during its early stages. Later signs of infestation include woodpecker activity and outer bark being removed, numerous shoots produced on trunks or limbs, tree canopy yellowing or dieback, browning of leaves, and winding galleries in the inner bark.

Emerald ash borer larvae feed in the cambium layer just below the bark, disrupting the transport of water and nutrients into the crown and killing the tree often within a few years. Emerging adult beetles leave distinctive 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inches long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July.

The public has been encouraged to send suspect samples and direct inquiries to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Riverhead or visit the DEC’s website for more information.

Riverhead Idol Returns

The Riverhead Recreation Department’s annual “Riverhead Idol” competition will return on Saturday, January 19, at 7 PM at the Shade Tree Center in Aquebogue.

The competition, which held
auditions for students in grades 7 through 12 in December, will award first, second, and third-place winners with gift cards to Tanger Outlets and opportunities to sing at local events.

Tickets are $10 purchased ahead of time, or $12 at the door. The doors open at 6:30 PM. For more information, email Liz Keller at keller@townofriverheadny.gov or call 631-722-4444 ext. 740.

Riverhead Town Board Meeting

The Riverhead Town Board has changed its evening meeting time to 6 PM.

The next meetings will take place at Riverhead Town Hall on Wednesday, February 5, at 2 PM and Wednesday, February 20, at 6 PM. For more information, visit the town’s website at townofriverheadny.gov.

Shelter Island Library Events

The Shelter Island Library continues to offer a variety of programs for residents of all ages. The library will screen “Always at the Carlyle,” a documentary on the legendary New York hotel whose guests have included George Clooney, Anthony Bourdain, and Anjelica Huston, on Friday, January 18, at 7 PM.

The library also has “Ice Painting Masterpieces” for toddlers to create ephemeral art work with ice cubes on Saturday, January 19, at 11 AM and a “Choose Your Own Adventure” reading event for elementary-aged children on Wednesday, January 23, at 3 PM.

Programs for young adults include a chess club hosted on Thursdays, January 17 and January 24, at 2:30 PM and a chance to play the new Super Smash Bros Ultimate on Fridays, January 18 and 25, at 2:30 PM.

For information on library programming, call 631-749-0042 or visit its website at www.shelterislandpubliclibrary.org.

Peconic Bay Sailing Association

Two youth sailing clubs received donations from the Peconic Bay Sailing Association at the group’s annual winter holiday party in December.

East End Youth Sailing and the Old Cove Youth Sailing Foundation, both based in Cutchogue, each received checks for $1500 toward their programs.

The funds were donated by members of the Peconic Bay Sailing Association from proceeds of their Whitebead 25 Regatta raffle and other fundraising activities.

Compiled by Genevieve Kotz