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Jersey City Trees Replaced as Part of Asian Longhorned Beetle Control Efforts

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2003


Hope Gruzlovic




More than 450 trees removed due to an Asian longhorned beetle infestation in Jersey City are being replaced as part of ongoing state and federal efforts to eradicate the destructive insect, Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced today.

"The Asian longhorned beetle is a major threat to New Jersey's maple and other hardwood trees," said Secretary Kuperus. "The removal of infested trees, as well as potential host trees in the affected area, was the most effective way to protect our residential forests. We're pleased those trees now are being replaced with non-host species that further our ability to control this dangerous insect."

"It is imperative that we take prompt action to control invasive species, such as the longhorned beetle, and other threats to forest resources," Commissioner Campbell said. "Federal and state foresters are to be commended for acting quickly to prevent this damaging pest from spreading." Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian longhorned beetle was first detected in Jersey City in October on a largely commercial site located north of the Newport Parkway and east of Washington Boulevard. Through a cooperative state and federal control effort, 113 infested trees and 348 potential host trees were removed from the area earlier this year.

The trees are being replaced through a $477,228 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to the Department of Environmental Protection's Community Forestry Program. Most of the grant will reimburse the landowners, the Lefrak Organization and James Monroe Condominium Association, for tree replacement costs. To date, approximately 350 new trees have been planted, with 110 additional trees expected to be planted by July 31. The remainder of the grant will pay for an Asian longhorned beetle outreach program that will provide statewide training in longhorned beetle detection as well as professional longhorned beetle assessment and monitoring in the northeast section of the state.

In addition to the Jersey City tree removals, more than 1,000 potential host trees in Jersey City and Hoboken were treated with the insecticide Imidacloprid to prevent the beetle from spreading. A quarantine remains in effect in portions of Jersey City and Hoboken within a 1.5-mile radius of the affected site. It prohibits the movement of firewood, green lumber, and other living, dead, cut or fallen material - including nursery stock, logs, stumps, roots and branches - from potential host trees from the quarantined area.

State and federal agricultural officials are optimistic these efforts have successfully controlled the insect. Nevertheless, they urge the public to be alert for signs of the beetle, which typically emerge from a period of winter dormancy in late June to early July.

The beetles are about 1 to 1-1/2 inches long, are black and shiny with white spots, and have long distinguishable antennae that are banded with black and white. They attack many different hardwood trees, primarily maple but also horsechestnut, willow, elm and boxelder.

To lay her eggs, the female beetle chews small oval or round niches in the outer bark of the tree. When immature worm-like beetles hatch, they bore into trunks and branches and create immense tunnels for themselves inside the trees. The adult beetles chew their way out, usually in late spring or early summer, leaving round exit holes about the size of a dime in their wake.

The Asian longhorned beetle control effort is spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and includes the City of Jersey City, the City of Hoboken, the Department of Environmental Protection's Community Forestry Program and the U.S. Forest Service.