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ALB turns up in Boston

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:32 pm
by AndrewJoslin
Six red maples were removed and chipped this morning 7/8/10 after Asian Longhorned Beetle was confirmed over the weekend on the grounds of the Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Faulkner is across the street from the Arnold Arboretum. A small forested tract called Allandale Woods is also in close proximity to the Faulkner property. USDA and state officials are now involved, a 1.5 mile "regulated zone" has been declared, no tree wood/woody material in or out. The regulated zone and the general area including private and public property will be monitored. The current thinking is that this is an isolated infestation, there is an ongoing investigation to determine the source of the beetles. There is a high degree of ALB education and awareness in the Boston area, urban foresters, parks advocates and volunteers have been monitoring Boston parks for the presence of ALB before the current infestation was discovered. The Arnold Arboretum was recently surveyed for ALB and none were found. More info

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA

Re: ALB turns up in Boston

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:23 pm
by James Parton
I hope they can " Nip it in the bud " before ALB can get a foothold.

JP

Re: ALB turns up in Boston

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:59 am
by AndrewJoslin
So far no reports of ALB found beyond the original 6 red maples infested. The infested trees were in the 10" diameter range and were landscape trees. Odds are (my opinion) they came from a nursery with ALB eggs/larvae onboard. It would be really interested to know the provenance of the red maples, I imagine USDA is working on that.

The good news is that the species mix in the Jamaica Plain area is not monoculture maple species. Red oak is probably the dominant hardwood species in eastern Massachusetts, they have their own problems but ALB is not one of them. There are plenty of maple species in the Boston area but they are mixed in, not contiguous. For the Worcester, Mass. situation ALB took advantage of an area in Worcester where a 1953 tornado flattened most of the trees. The tornado effected area was replanted with Norway Maple. When ALB was accidentally introduced roughly 12 years ago they took advantage of the bad decision to plant one tree species over a large area. One human mistake compounded by another.

Unfortunately I still see monoculture in urban/streets tree species choices. Different species seem to go in and out of fashion. In Boston zelkova has been planted everywhere, allegedly as an elm replacement (not). The other favorite is the thornless honey locust variety (not native to eastern Mass.). Either way I wish that urban landscape designers would use more native species and mix it up per site. My theory is they like the way their design renderings look with all the same crown shapes :-)

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA