Michigan without any maple trees? That’s a terrifying thing to imagine.

If the Asian longhorned beetle moves in from the neighboring state of Ohio, the voracious beetle could wreak havoc on hardwood trees in Michigan. The invasive insect has already wiped out 80,000 trees nationwide, Detroit Free Press reports, and it’s imperative they don’t reach the Mitten State.

“More than 1 billion maple trees grow in Michigan, so the potential devastation here is mind-boggling,” said Joanne Foreman of the state Department of Natural Resources. “Once the Asian longhorned beetle infests a tree, you cannot save the tree. That’s why preventing its spread is critical.”

Here is a poster from the Michigan DNR about how to protect and prevent infestation, and what you should do if you discover this harmful species around your home:

These destructive beetles feed on a wide variety of hardwood trees, including birch, poplar, willow, sycamore and chestnut. However, maple trees are its favorite, and someone let it slip that Michigan is home to the most delicious maple syrup on the planet.

The beetles inflict Swiss cheese-like damage on trees, making tiny holes in them that eventually cause the tree to lose its branches and die.


Image courtesy Michigan DNR

Image courtesy Michigan DNR

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