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DNR calls on residents to help track invasive Hemlock wooly adelgid

Beatriz Moisset

Michigan environmental officials are warning residents to be aware of invasive Hemlock wooly adelgids - a tiny Asian insect that can kill Hemlock trees.

Michigan is home to an estimated 170-million Hemlock trees that cover the western and northern portions of the state into the upper peninsula.

State officials first raised the alarm about invasive adelgids in 2006 when they appeared in Emmet county.

Now, Joanne Foreman with the Department of Natural Resources is asking residents to be on the lookout for the insect across five western counties including Mason.

“Given what we’ve seen in Michigan and in other states they can actually kill a tree in six to ten years of becoming invested,” she said. “When you think about the resource and that amount of time it’s certainly something we want to find early.”

Foreman said the more people who are on the lookout for the invasive insect - the better chance the state has of protecting its Hemlock forests.

“We are a state that has over 170-million hemlock trees so this is an important forest resource for us and we are very concerned,” she said. “We hope people will be able to get out and look at hemlock trees to see if they see any evidence.”

The DNR is a financial supporter of WCMU.