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Invasive Pest Harms Hemlocks In The Catskills

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

A new study has found hemlock trees in the Catskill region have been declining in health amid an invasive pest infestation.

U.S. Forest Service and University of Vermont researchers found the percentage of healthy hemlocks in the region dropping from 59 percent in 2001 to 16 percent in 2012. Forest Service Entomologist Ryan Hanavan says the decline in the 274-square-mile area is almost exclusively due to the hemlock woolly adelgid. The pervasive invasive insect originally from Japan can cause trees to lose needles and branches and eventually die. The Forest Service is working with other agencies to control the infestation. The study was published this week in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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