Michigan Christmas Trees In Danger? Invasive Bug Could Hurt Them
Christmas tree season is just around the corner, but Michigan's fir trees could be in danger thanks to a tiny invasive bug that you may not even realize is a bug.
They are called the Balsam Wooly Adelgid and this little pesky bug loves snacking on fir trees like they're those Christmas Tree Little Debbie cakes that we all love so much.
And while we all love a good treat, their snacking could cause us to have a shortage of real Christmas trees just before the holiday season. So, we all need to be on the lookout for these little tree terrorists and the damage they are causing.
This is actually the second time they've spotted them in Michigan. They were originally spotted in the Mitten State back in 2021, and they're still causing quite a stir. This time they've been found on a residential property in Missaukee County, which is east of Cadillac in the lower peninsula.
So why is this insect such a threat? It attacks fir trees and feeds on its sap. Over time, it weakens the tree, kills branches, causes twig gouting (swollen tissue), and eventually the tree will die from the damage caused by these barely visible jerks.
The Balsam Woolly Adelgid is only up to 2 mm long so you may not be able to spot the insect itself with your eyes, but there are ways to know if you have an infestation:
- Swelling of the twigs
- Branches that turn brick-red and then die
- Woolly tufts on or near the trunk of the tree
- Yellow needles or falling off too soon
Which may look somewhat like this:
So if you spot these signs, take pictures, note the location, and report it to MDARD at MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or call 800-292-3939. You can also get more info about them here.