Linking research, outreach and communication activities to create a network of volunteer “citizen scientists” who select and monitor healthy trees, across the state, and help identify future outbreaks of invasive pests.

Ask an Expert

What’s going on?

The impact of exotic invasive species on our forests in the U.S. is staggering. Effects of these unwanted invaders can affect human and ecosystem health, forest products, property values and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Thanks to startup funding from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, a team from Michigan State University is launching a statewide effort to help residents learn about the risks and impacts of invasive forest pests. The “Eyes on the Forest” program links research, outreach and communication activities through MSU’s Department of Entomology and MSU Extension.

The Eyes on the Forest program is targeting three major potential invaders that pose serious threats to Michigan trees and forests.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Asian Longhorned Beetle
Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
Spotted Lanternfly Spotted Lanternfly

All three of these invasive pests can kill their host trees. If any one of them becomes established in Michigan, it will be extremely difficult to stop them.

We need YOU!

One way to keep these unwanted invaders out of our woods is to create a network of sentinel trees across the state. The ultimate goal is to recruit trained volunteers who agree to “adopt” an individual tree, and periodically monitor and report on the condition of the tree over time. Changes in the condition of the tree are often important clues about what’s happening with these pests. The more volunteers, the greater the number of sentinel trees, and the greater the chance that we keep these extremely damaging pests and diseases out!

Become a volunteer!

We are looking for people who are interested in serving as a Michigan Sentinel Tree Volunteer. To get started, visit our Eyes on the Forest Sentinel Tree Network site. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact:

Julie Crick
Extension Educator

Georgia Peterson
Natural Resources Extension Specialist

For more information on these and other invasive pests and diseases threatening our natural resources, visit the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network.


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