Fifty more mature trees in east Central New Jersey have been removed because of an infestation of Asian longhorned beetles.
According to the state Department of Agriculture, the new quarantine zone extends into a small section of eastern Clark Township, making the township the seventh municipality to be impacted by the Middlesex County and Union County quarantine.
Efforts to remove these trees marks the start of eradication in an area that officials believe has served as the starting point for the beetle to infest other trees in the county.
Agricultural began looking at the industrial area after individual trees in parts of Linden township were infested without large numbers of trees surrounding them showing signs of the beetle. Computer modeling suggested the beetles may have been coming from the industrial area, which at the time was outside the existing quarantine zone. A subsequent survey of that area found additional infestation.
The beetle is believed to have arrived in this country in solid wood packaging material such as pallets and crates. New international regulations, which go into full force July 5, 2006, are in place to stem the invasion of these insects, as well as prevent the exporting of insects from this country that can do damage where there are no natural predators.
In New Jersey, the quarantine began in 2004 when infested trees were found in Carteret, Rahway, Woodbridge and Linden townships. The area has expanded as new areas have surfaced in Linden as well as Roselle, Elizabeth and Clark. As of mid-May, 579 infested trees have been detected in Middlesex and Union counties and 529 trees have been removed. In addition, 16,614 high-risk host trees have been removed from the area since November 2004.
Source: Department of Agriculture