Foresters spot bug linked to fatal tree disease near Allegan



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HOPKINS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Foresters have found an invasive insect in West Michigan that contributes to the death of hardwood American beech trees.

The Grand Rapids Press (http://bit.ly/1vezyAa ) reports the beech scale was spotted recently on tribal land in Hopkins Township in Allegan County. The insect makes trees susceptible to an exotic fungus, leading to the fatal beech bark disease.

The disease has not been confirmed in the area, but Allegan Conservation District forester Shawn Kelly says it usually follows spottings of the beech scale.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, about 2.5 million trees have died in Michigan from beech bark disease. Kelly says the Allegan beech scale sighting is the southernmost county where it has been found.

Trees infected with beech bark disease die within three to six years.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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