Insect that kills hemlocks detected in NW Michigan county

Michigan

An undated photo shows hemlock woolly adelgids on containerized western hemlock. Photo courtesy: Steven Katovich/Bugwood.org

HONOR, Mich. (AP) — A small insect that can kill hemlock trees by feeding on their sap has been detected at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northwestern Michigan.

Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says surveyors found round, white ovisacs characteristic of the hemlock woolly adelgid on one tree in the Platte River Campground in Honor. That popular campground is in northern Benzie County, southwest of Traverse City.

The insects’ feeding weakens needles, shoots and branches of the trees. Over time, tree growth slows and they take on a grayish-green appearance.

State officials say that without treatment, infested trees die within four to 10 years.

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