Asian Longhorned Beetle
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is native to Asia but immigrated to North America via wood packing material from China. This invasive species was first discovered in Brooklyn, NY in 1996. ALB appeared in New Jersey for the first time in 2002 in Jersey City.
Susceptible Tree Species
The preferred hosts of the ALB are maple trees, but it will also attack willows, poplars, ask, horsechestnuts, and buckeye trees. Maple trees comprise over thirty percent of the street tree population in New Jersey. An infestation could jeopardize nearly half the trees that line our streets and highways.
ALB larvae tunnel into the tree, damaging the vascular system and ultimately killing the tree. Larvae mature into adults in the heartwood and tunnel out. A tree infested with ALB will have perfectly round exit holes in the bark about the width of a pencil. The beetles also leave behind frass, a mixture of sawdust and waste. The branches of an infested tree may also exhibit yellowing leaves and dying limbs. The adults can be seen outside the tree from May to October.
All infested tree are removed, chipped in place, and the chips are burned. The stumps of infested trees are ground to below the soil level. All potential host trees within a one-eighth to one-quarter mile radius of infested trees are removed to stop the spread of ALB.
Trees Affected by ALB Replaced
New Jersey Forest Service is reforesting the affected areas in Middlesex and Union counties. To date, the New Jersey Forest Service has planted over 6,500 trees in Carteret, Linden, Rahway, and Woodbridge. Cities and towns across the United States are on the lookout for ALB. The ALB has mainly caused destruction in Chicago, New York City, New Jersey, and most recently in Massachusetts in August of 2008.
New Jersey Reforestation:
To date, the New Jersey Forest Service has planted over 6,500 trees in Carteret, Linden, Rahway and Woodbridge. Tree planting has been on both public property (streets, parks, schools and other community centers) and private property (places of business and residence).
Since Spring 2005, communities have received replacement trees. Just three years after a purple-leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera) was planted in the front yard of a residence, it has grown significantly to provide shade and other valuable benefits to the homeowner. In the foreground is a newly planted littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata). The New Jersey Forest Service works with each municipality to find appropriate street tree planting locations. Both private property owners and the municipalities agree to care and water the trees. (photo from 2008)