According to recent Michigan Department of Natural Resources inventory data, more than 173 million hemlock trees grow in Michigan. An invasive insect is now threatening the tree species. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Forest Health Monitoring Program Manager, Roger Mech about the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and what you can do to help protect our trees and forests.
* Eastern Hemlock trees are one of the most common trees in Michigan, and they can be found in the WEMU listening area. The MDNR is requesting that citizens become familiar with the signs of hemlock woolly adelgid damage and report signs of damage immediately.
* The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a tiny aphid-like insect native to Japan and one of the most damaging invasive forest pests in eastern North America, has caused high mortality among eastern hemlock, making permanent changes to forests in many eastern states. The adelgid has reached Michigan several times, but early detection has led to eradication.
* Roger Mech, Forest Health Monitoring Program Manager, says that detection by non-professionals has been critical in stopping this invasive pest, and infested trees can be treated with pesticides or soaps before the disease spreads.
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