The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development contacted Owen Tree Service to set up an advanced training seminar covering invasive pests that have, or could, threaten Michigan’s environment. As a result, approximately 30 Owen Tree Service & Owen Tree Service-Herbicide Division employees had the opportunity to attend two seminars given by Lauren Walsh and Caitlin Burkman from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.

Invasive insect - disease control - Michigan
Owen Tree employees learn about invasive insect & disease threats.

The majority of the morning was spent with Lauren discussing invasive pests threatening Michigan. While there was brief discussion on invasive animal and aquatic plants, the main focus was on invasive insects and new diseases that could threaten trees and shrubs in Michigan.

Insect and disease pests that were covered included:

  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
  • Thousand Cankers Disease
  • Balsam Woolly Adelgid
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Spotted Lanternfly
  • Oak Wilt
  • Beech Bark Disease
Emerald Ash Borer control
Emerald Ash Borer emerging from Ash tree. 
Invasive insect_disease_control_Michigan
Spotted Lanternfly has not been found in Michigan … yet.

Fortunately, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Thousand Cankers Disease, Balsam Woolly Adelgid and Spotted Lanternfly have not been found in Michigan. Homeowners, forest managers and Michigan Department of Agriculture officials are having to contend with infestations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Emerald Ash Borer, Oak Wilt and Beech Bark Disease.

Caitlin followed up with a discussion on how to become a certified applicator, where to take pesticide applicator examinations, and various applicator categories and which type of pest control falls under each category. Safety topics included how to find application information on pesticide labels, record keeping for pesticide applications, how to store and transport pesticides, how to apply pesticides and personal protective equipment that should be worn when applying pesticides.

With so many potential threats from invasive animals, plants, insects and diseases, the Michigan Department of Agriculture is looking to educate the public to be on the lookout for invasive pests and reduce the spread of invasive pests already in Michigan. By educating tree care professionals that are already working throughout Michigan, like Owen Tree Service employees, the chances of stopping an invasive pest before it becomes too widespread increases.

If you think you may have found an invasive pest don’t hesitate to contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Try to capture or take a picture of the pest if you can do so safely. In many areas of the United States it has been a homeowner working in their yard that was the first to find a newly established invasive pest. You can reach the Michigan Department of Agriculture at:

Phone: 800-292-3939

On-Line: www.misin.msu.edu

Email: MDA-info@michigan.gov

Control of invasive species in Michigan
Lauren Walsh and Caitlin Burkman from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

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