Stories

From the Ecology and Forest Care Committees:

The Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN) is conducting surveys throughout the region to determine the presence of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), a potential threat to the hemlocks in our environment. They will include an appraisal of hemlocks on CSA common grounds. ISN would also like to include private properties in their search. In order to do this, they need permission from property owners.

Below is information about the insect, the timing of the survey, and the permission form required to survey the trees on your property. This form and your questions can be addressed to:

Audrey Menninga
Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network
Invasive Species Specialist
Grand Traverse Conservation District
1450 Cass Rd. Traverse City, MI 49685
Office: (231)941-0960 x18
Cell: (231) 268-4620

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is a small insect that attaches to the base of the hemlock needles and sucks the nutrients from the tree. The hemlock senses something wrong with that branch, and does what's called “self-pruning” - it stops sending nutrients to that branch. Unfortunately, HWA is a prolific spreader once in a tree, and this causes the hemlock to eventually kill itself. It takes about 5-10 years for death to happen, however, which gives us time to treat infected trees. Right now, there have been no reports of HWA in the ISN service area (Manistee, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau) so we're being proactive right now! The closest report to us is in northern Oceana County.

Surveys start in January and run until the end of April. Property owners don't need to be on the property, though any information about the property (primarily, where the best place is to park, whether roads/driveways will be plowed) is appreciated! We walk through the property, checking up to 30 hemlocks per acre by flipping over four branches on each tree to check the undersides. It's a very easy and straightforward survey, with no damage to the trees! Because of the Michigan Invasives Species Grant Program, there is zero cost to property owners for survey.

Please compete the permission form by clicking this link and mailing it to the adddress above: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid ISN Permission Form