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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2005

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

DEP Moves Forward with Reforestation of City Trees Devastated
by Asian Longhorned Beetle

(05/124) TRENTON -- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced ongoing tree replacements in areas of Carteret, Rahway, Linden and Woodbridge affected by infestations of the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

The DEP's Forest Service is managing the forest restoration, which began this month with the planting of 556 trees in Carteret, 307 trees in Rahway, 391 trees in Linden and 173 trees in Woodbridge. A total of 1,427 trees will be planted.

"It is important that we keep the green in the Garden State," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "More than 5,000 trees had to be removed because of infestation. The need to replant speaks for itself."

The tree-planting project is part of the first phase of the $1.6 million reforestation effort to replace the 5,400 trees removed because of the beetle infestations. The project is funded through a grant supplied by the U. S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.

"The landscape of these cities and communities suffered a major blow from the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle," Campbell said. "Replanting the trees will restore the natural canopy once enjoyed by the residents and area businesses."

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, along with APHIS, continues to remove infected and host trees. The replacement trees are approximately 10 feet tall and 2-3 inches in caliper, which is the trunk diameter measured 6 inches above the root ball. A variety of tree species are available, but will vary depending on the nursery stock and preference of the property owner.

Tree species available for residential and street tree plantings this fall include eastern redbud, ginkgo, Kentucky coffeetree, magnolia, Japanese tree lilac, dogwood, Douglas-fir, littleleaf linden, Atlas cedar, serviceberry, American holly and arborvitae.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is an exotic insect with a voracious appetite for hardwood trees including all species of maple, willow, elm, horsechestnut, ash, poplar, birch, hackberry, mountain-ash, mimosa, London plane and sycamore. This insect poses a serious threat to hardwood forests in the Northeast, including trees in New Jersey's urban forests.

The only means of stopping the spread of the Asian Longhorned Beetle involves aggressive removal and chipping of all infested trees and high-risk host trees. Asian Longhorned Beetles are about 1 to 1.5 inches long and have a shiny black exterior with white spots. Their name comes from their long antennae, which are banded black and white. The beetles typically attack one tree and migrate to others when their populations become too dense.

Asian Longhorned Beetles were first discovered in the United States in 1996 in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn and were found again in 2001 in Manhattan's Central Park. USDA officials have determined that they first entered the country inside solid-wood packing material coming from China.

In New Jersey, the beetle was first detected in 2002 in Jersey City. These infested trees were removed. The eradication and restoration efforts in Jersey City have proved successful with no new outbreaks identified to date.

 

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Last Updated: December 6, 2005