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Invasive, tree-killing insect found in Kent County

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Fir tree

An invasive, tree-killing insect has been found in Kent county.

The balsam woolly adelgid is a sap-sucking insect which kills fir trees. The first case in Michigan was confirmed this month near Rockford. An arborist found some Fraser firs that were in sad shape. Samples confirmed the invasive insect was the cause.

Rob Miller is an invasive species specialist with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He says keep an eye on Fraser, balsam, and white firs for these symptoms.

"Tiny white wooly tufts on the trunk or the lower branches of the tree, swelling and distortion of the twigs, and then flagging on the branches, which is going to be a branch or a number of branches that turn brick red. And then lastly, tree crowns that become narrow and misshapen with few needles.”

The firs are popular yard trees and are also used as Christmas trees.

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