USDA RESUMES REMOVAL OF INFESTED TREES AND DETERMINES NEXT STEPS FOR ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE ERADICATION EFFORTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2009--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has resumed the removal of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) infested trees found within the Massachusetts regulated area.
APHIS will begin chemical treatments for eradication in the spring of 2010 via trunk injections within a two-square mile core infestation area centered in the Greendale and Burncoat neighborhoods of Worcester. Program officials will contact property owners for permission to treat private host trees, and treatments may be adjusted as resources dictate. The treatment pilot study, which included the treatment of 131 host trees this fall and 41 host trees next spring, will enable APHIS to determine whether or not treatments in Massachusetts can be effective if applied in months other than April, May and June. The pilot study will be completed in the winter of 2010.
APHIS and its partners will continue survey efforts within the Massachusetts-infested area this winter. Survey crews inspect ALB-host tree species for signs of the beetle using a combination of ground work, specially trained tree climbers and bucket trucks. Since Oct. 1, 2008, the Massachusetts ALB eradication program has surveyed more than 212,000 trees.
These efforts are designed to limit the spread of the invasive ALB and facilitate its eradication within Massachusetts, as well as to prevent the spread of ALB to other states. This is critical because the ALB is potentially one of the most destructive and costly invasive species to enter the United States.
The Massachusetts ALB cooperative eradication program is comprised of APHIS, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the City of Worcester, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the Towns of Holden, Boylston, West Boylston and Shrewsbury.
For information about the beetle and program activities, please contact the Massachusetts ALB program at 1-866-702-9938. Log on to www.aphis.usda.gov or http://massnrc.org/pests/alb or visit www.beetlebusters.info for more information about ALB, including pictures and where to report a suspected beetle.
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