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ALB - Survey Components

When one or more ALB are collected in an area, the survey procedures listed below will be implemented. The host tree identified as infested will serve as the epicenter. All survey protocols will originate from that point.


Intensive Core Survey (Level 1 Survey)
Annually, all host trees within a ½ mile radius of the initial find are surveyed visually. The initial survey is conducted by ground crews. Once visible damage is no longer evident from the ground, Bucket Trucks and Tree Climbers are used to complete the survey within the ½ mile radius. It is recommended that Tree Climbers be used whenever possible and Bucket Trucks be used when needed. If additional infestations are found, the ½ mile core area will be extended from the outermost find.


Delimiting Survey (Level 2 Survey)
All host trees within a minimum of 1-mile beyond the Intensive Core Survey Boundary is surveyed. Biennially, all host trees in the delimiting area are surveyed using ground crews, Bucket Trucks, or Tree Climbers.

The first delimiting survey should be completed within one year of discovering a new infestation that is not associated with the existing ALB regulated area. Subsequent years of delimiting survey will then be completed on a biennial basis.


High Risk Site Detection Survey (Level 3 Survey)
Using investigative work to identify potential high-risk sites where ALB infested materials may have been taken and utilizing interviews, databases, yellow pages, ads, or other potentially valuable sources of information the following sites are identified:

  • Tree services that conduct business within the infested or regulated area to determine locations where their vehicles are routinely parked and wood is disposed of or stored.
  • Municipal parks, tree wardens, foresters, or other municipal groups that may cut or trim trees.
  • In heavily infested areas, query local residents about any firewood they may have cut and given away or transported to other locations (cabins, camps, etc.).
  • Landfills or other places used for the disposal of recently cut wood and brush.
  • Utility companies.
  • Anyone else who may cut and transport wood.


At sites identified above, an annual ground-based visual survey for ALB is to be conducted of 50 to 100 potential host trees surrounding the site. Managers may choose to use Bucket Trucks and Tree Climbers based on the availability of resources. Only trees that are within 1.25 miles of the site are to be included.

If ALB is found, the Intensive Core and Delimiting Survey Protocols will be used to determine the extent of the infestation.

Area Wide Detection Survey (Level 4 Survey)
All one square mile areas within 25 miles of the epicenter of the current ALB infestation, but outside of the regulated area, shall be surveyed at least once every three years in the following manner. Two host trees at each of nine sites per square mile shall be inspected visually from the ground for evidence of ALB infestation. Sites shall be well distributed throughout the square mile block and separated by a minimum of 300 meters. Use a GPS unit, if available, to document locations and other data (see Survey Records section below). Where available, use Township-Range-Section to conveniently define survey blocks. The first area wide survey should be completed within one year of discovering a new infestation that is not associated with the existing regulated areas for ALB.


General Survey Information 
The following information applies to all of the surveys listed above:

  • Survey crews must be able to recognize ALB host trees from ground level. It may be necessary for the PPQ Regional Botanist or other qualified individual to provide this training prior to starting survey activities. ALB host trees are listed in Appendix 1.
  • Bucket Trucks require trained operators to function safely. Initially, qualified survey crew members will have to accompany these operators to show them how to identify ALB damage.
  • Tree Climbers may be available from the local sources such as city and state forestry and parks. The United States Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Inspection Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service also have climbers on staff that may be available. Contracts with Commercial Tree Care Companies are also a source of climber and bucket truck crews.
  • Tree Climbers are more effective than Bucket Trucks when leaves are on the trees.
  • Trees in excess of 28 inches in diameter at breast height (DBH) may require two Tree Climbers to conduct biologically sound surveys in a timely manner.
  • All surveys will be augmented with strong local media and public outreach campaigns.

Note: See Appendix 2 for protocols for inspecting trees, Appendix 3.1-2 for recommended equipment, Appendix 4 for host tree identification aids, and Appendix 5 for pictures of the Asian Longhorned Beetle and associated damage.


Quality Assurance
For delimiting and high risk site detection surveys, supervisors should ensure that survey crews are routinely challenged with simulated ALB damage, such as false exit holes or pits chipped into the bark (false oviposition sites). Field or lab-collected frass may also be used. These techniques should not be used on a regular schedule, and simulated damage should not be restricted to a specific portion of trees. Location and timing of simulated damage must be carefully documented when it is put into place. The survey crew should be informed that this type of Quality Assurance testing will be ongoing but should not be told where or when it will occur.


Survey Records
Records of all ALB-positive host material will be maintained. These records will include the following:

  • Location of tree, street address, or GPS coordinates.
  • Ownership of tree (private or public).
  • If the tree is privately owned, the record will include the property owner's name and telephone number.
  • Whether or not the private owner was notified of the results of the survey.
  • Genus/Species of host tree.
  • Type of host tree (private, park, or street).
  • Size of tree (measured DBH).
  • Type of ALB damage found.
  • Date the ALB damage was found.
  • Surveyor name and agency.
  • Type of survey (ground, bucket truck, or tree climber).
  • Identifying marks placed on the tree by the survey crew. These can include but are not limited to colored plastic ribbons, spray paint, or other easily recognizable means of identification.
  • Hazardous conditions that would limit accessibility to tree for removal.


Records of negative ALB survey for the Intensive Core and Delimiting Survey areas will include the following:

  • Date of survey.
  • Surveyor name and agency.
  • Number, genus/species, type, and DBH of host trees surveyed.
  • Location of survey, street address, or GPS coordinates.
  • Type of survey (ground, bucket truck, or tree climber).
  • Locations of trees on property.
  • Suggested treatment type.


High Risk Site Detection Survey data will include the following:

  • Date of survey. 
  • Name of business (if applicable). 
  • Contact for business, including name and phone number (if applicable). 
  • Location of survey, street address, or GPS coordinates. 
  • Number and type of host trees surveyed.
  • Type of survey (ground, bucket truck, or tree climber).


Area Wide Detection Survey data will include the following:

  • Date of survey. 
  • County of survey. 
  • Township-Range-Section of survey (if available). 
  • Location of survey, street address, or GPS coordinates. 
  • Number and type of host trees surveyed.


Data Entry and Management
All data collected by survey crews and from tree removal activities will be collected daily. The data will be:

  • Checked for accuracy.
  • Be in the correct format.
  • Downloaded from field data collection devices and entered into the ALB database.


The data manager will also be responsible for:

  • Producing maps of regulated areas. 
  • Maintaining GPS Units and Data Loggers. 
  • Providing reports to the program manager as necessary. 
  • Maintaining and updating the ALB database. 
  • Keeping accurate statistical records of the number of trees removed,
  • regulated establishments, compliance agreements, permits, and other
  • associated paperwork.
  • Analyzing data to provide the program manager with information on trends and patterns as they relate to the ALB eradication program.

Additional Information