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State promotes awareness of pests, invasive plants

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
CAES, Bugwood.org
The hemlock woolly adelgid sucks sap from hemlock needles, killing needles, shoots and branches. Left untreated, hemlock woolly adelgid can cause tree death in 4-10 years.

It’s National Gardening Week, and the state of Michigan wants homeowners to avoid spreading invasive pests and plants.

Non-native plant species can overwhelm plants native to Michigan, and can be difficult to eradicate.

It’s also easy to transport troublesome pests from place to place when moving plants or firewood.

Susie Iott is an invasive species specialist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. She says dealing with invasives can be costly.

“Before you take anything from your neighbor, or you think it looks pretty, find out what it is, and make sure it’s not invasive, because you might end up having a very expensive problem on your hands,” Iott said.

Iott recommends contacting your local cooperative invasive species management area if you discover an invasive on your property. Information can be found on the department’s website.

The department has issued several plant and pest quarantines in Michigan. These legal documents are designed to limit the movement of specific plants within the state and across state lines.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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