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Environment & Climate Change

Michigan agency considers quarantine of tree-harming pest

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US Forest Service
The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) Adelges tsugae was first described in western North America in 1924 and first reported in the eastern United States in 1951 near Richmond, VA.

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan agency is seeking public comment on a proposed quarantine of an insect from Asia that has caused the death of millions of hemlock trees across North America.

  The Holland Sentinel reports hemlock woolly adelgid has been detected in three counties in western Michigan in the past few years.

  The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's proposed quarantine would regulate movement of hemlock nursery stock, branches, boughs, non-composted chips, logs and firewood to limit spreading of the insect.

  Department director Jamie Clover Adams says if hemlock woolly adelgid were to become widely established in Michigan, it would cause severe losses across multiple industries, including timber products, nursery stock and tourism.

  Adams says Michigan forests have an estimated 170 million hemlock trees, and thousands more are planted in home landscapes.

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  Information from: The Holland Sentinel, http://www.thehollandsentinel.com