Michigan DNR Needs You To Check Your Trees For This Invasive Species
No, that's not snow that's covering your tree branches! The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is warning about another round of invasive species that are killing trees throughout the state.
Now that another infestation has been found the Michigan DNR is asking residents to check their trees and report any findings immediately. Here's what you need to be on the lookout for:
In a recent post on social media the Michigan DNR wrote,
Check. Your. Trees...if you have hemlocks in your area, there may be white stuff on them that’s NOT snow...We need your help to spot and report hemlock woolly adelgid, a threat to our beautiful hemlock trees throughout the state.
So, What Is It?
The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is a small insect that burrows on the underside of the branches of the hemlock tree. Often found at the base of the needles the HWA uses its "siphoning mouthpart" (gross) to suck the sap from these trees, according to the Michigan DNR.
The result is a weakened tree that can turn grayish-green in color and may lose its needles and branches. If left untreated a mature tree can die within the span of 4 to 10 years.
Where Did They Come From?
Native to Asia, it's believed this invasive species first came to the state via infested nursey stock from northeastern states like New York. The Michigan DNR says the insects can't move very far on their own and rely on other animals or even the wind to transport them to new locations.
Where Are They Now?
These insects have been found in hemlock trees along the western side of Michigan, everywhere from Allegan County to as far north as Mason County. Unfortunately, a new infestation was found in trees farther north near Sleeping Bear Dunes in Benzie County so officials are asking all Michiganders who plan to spend time outdoors to help keep an eye out for these tree killers!
How to Report
Be on the lookout for these small, white insects that look similar to a cotton swab on the underside of your hemlock tree. If you notice needles or branches suddenly falling or your tree starts to turn an odd color, that may be signs of an infestation!
The Michigan DNR says you can report your HWA infestations one of several ways:
- Email the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at MDA-Info@Michigan.gov.
- Call the MDARD Customer Service Center at 800-292-3939.
- Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network online reporting tool.
- Download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone.