Page 49 - Great Lakes Logging - August 2018
P. 49

GREAT LAKES LOGGING • AUGUST 2018 49
“ I can't say whether this ” will be eradication (of
the infestations) or just the
beginning of a long-term effort.
Shaun Howard
Nature Conservancy project manager for Eastern Lake Michigan
surveying and preparing for hemlock treatments.
"Our current strategy is based on the knowledge we have now," said James
Wieferich, a technician with DNR Forest Resources Division. "If adelgid infestations are limited to the areas we have surveyed, we can create a barrier to sever the infestation from areas farther north that are not infested and then stair-step treatment down to the southern limits (of the infestation)."
North of the designated barrier, the Nature Conservancy - in partnership with the Michigan Dune Alliance - will soon begin detection surveys in coastal areas not known to be infested with adelgids.
Detection surveys are broadscale and quick, examining no more than 30 trees per acre on selected plots to determine whether hemlock woolly adel- gids are present. These surveys will be conducted by Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area staff - local partners who also assist by providing outreach to communities affected by invasive species.
SIGNS OF HOPE
At a campground in Norton Shores in Muskegon County, an early infes-
tation site and ground zero for McCullough's research, stands of hemlock look gray and thin against the background of maples in full summer flour- ish.
A closer look reveals a bright, vibrant hemlock trees among the maples, tied with assorted colors of plastic marking tape. Another hemlock has fresh, green growth at its tips. These trees are part of a study, funded by MSU's Project GREEEN, to improve treatment success for the insecticides Imida- cloprid and Dinotefuran.
Dinotefuran is fast-acting but short-lived, protecting trees from adelgids for one to two years. Imidacloprid takes up to one year to show results but provides protection for at least four years.
Armed with effective treatments and a coordinated management strategy, Michigan hopes to be able to contain its hemlock woolly adelgid infestation. The Nature Conservancy's Shaun Howard, project manager for Eastern
Lake Michigan, is cautiously optimistic.
"(Working together) we have more data to make decisions on a broader
scale," Howard said. "Treatments are available and effective. Once trees are infested, tree mortality could take four to 10 years, so we have time to save the trees - but I can't say whether this will be eradication (of the infestations) or just the beginning of a long-term effort."
McCullough is investigating the effects of temperature on the adelgids - another factor that may improve the odds of success in the battle against these invasive insects.
After an extremely cold night in Muskegon in January 2018, 80 percent of the hemlock woolly adelgids on a sample tree at the campground in Nor- ton Shores had died. Warmer temperatures on the same night at a site in Ottawa County showed far less adelgid mortality.
"Michigan's known infestations are along the lakeshore, which has its own micro-climate," McCullough said. "The lake effect means more snow and generally warmer winter temperatures than our inland areas, which may have an effect on the adelgids' ability to survive and spread."
Knowing what's at stake - the significant environmental, recreational and economic costs of losing Michigan's hemlock trees - keeps the team com- mitted to working together to protect this valuable resource.
More information about hemlock, hemlock quarantines and identifying and treating hemlock woolly adelgid is available at www.michigan.gov/hwa.
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