November 18, 2018
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USDA wants help finding invasive beetle in Maine

Courtesy of USDA
Courtesy of USDA
The Asian longhorned beetle

Authorities in Maine and elsewhere in the country are asking residents to be on the lookout for the destructive Asian longhorned beetle this month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says August is the best time of the year to check trees for the invasive pest, which destroys trees. The beetles can cause branches to drop from trees, and worsen storm damage.

Tree deaths related to the beetle have been seen in New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it needs help from the public to find and get rid of the beetles. The service calls August “Tree Check Month.”

The beetle was first seen in the U.S. in 1996. It has caused losses of more than 160,000 trees.

Meanwhile in Rutland, Vermont, officials are preparing to remove all of the city’s ash trees in response to the arrival of the invasive emerald ash borer.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to have the Public Works Committee meet with Public Works Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg on the plan to remove all 355 ash trees in Rutland. The Rutland Herald reports Wennberg says he will discuss communication with the public with the committee.

The insect was first found in Vermont in February, and has quickly spread around the state. Wennberg says waiting for the trees to die from infestation would double removal costs, so the city will have to begin removal efforts quickly.

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