MDARD updates state's two hemlock woolly adelgid quarantines
Revisions aim to help better protect Michigan's hemlock trees
LANSING, MI - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) revised both the state of Michigan's interior and exterior Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) quarantines. The new quarantines are effective on September 24, 2020.
"These quarantines are designed to protect the 170 million hemlock trees that live in Michigan's forests," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "According to the USDA Forest Service, hemlock trees have a strong impact on streamside habitat conditions and stream health. Loss of hemlock could result in a rise in water temperatures in streams and an increase in soil erosion, something Michiganders certainly don't need to further experience.
"If left unchecked, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid could spread throughout Michigan's hemlock trees, causing significant loses and affecting the timber and lumber industries, nursery and landscaping industries, the Christmas tree industry, and the tourist industry," added Mike Philip, MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division Director. "Hopefully, these revisions will keep the pest from moving to new areas in the state and slow the spread within the five currently affected counties."
The previous interior Hemlock Woolly Adelgid quarantine only regulated movement of hemlock in Allegan, Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties. The quarantine was updated to include Mason County after the pest was identified there in February 2020. It was also revised to allow movement of hemlock yard waste within the regulated counties without requiring a compliance agreement, provided the material is safeguarded during transport and is taken to disposal sites located at least 100 yards from any hemlock trees.
Also, MDARD updated the state's exterior HWA quarantine adding clarification to the responsibilities for notifying the department on incoming shipments. Out-of-state firms shipping hemlock nursery stock into Michigan must provide information to MDARD in advance of the shipment including a plant health certificate from the state of origin and details on the destination in Michigan.
The updated HWA quarantines are available on the department's website and suspected quarantine violations can be reported by emailing MDARD-NurseryCE@Michigan.gov. Additional information about Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is available at Michigan.gov/InvasiveSpecies.