alb (2)

Asian Longhorned Beetle

In 2008, the exotic invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) was first detected in the City of Worcester, Massachusetts.  Following the detection, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established a cooperative program to eradicate ALB. To eradicate this pest, all infested trees are removed and chipped. Now, nine years later, well over 36,000 trees have been removed from public and private property, including from yards, parks, schools, and streets within the current 110 square mile regulated area that encompasses the entire City of Worcester, the second most populous city in all of New England after Boston, and four surrounding towns and portions of another one.

In response to this large-scale tree removal, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) developed a well-coordinated reforestation plan, including a broad coalition of partners to work in cooperation so as to quickly restore the tree canopy for the regulated area. With federal funding provided through the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Commonwealth dollars, to date, the DCR Urban and Community Forestry Worcester Reforestation Program has planted 18,766 trees on both public and private property.


This effort required significant outreach and education efforts on the part of DCR and partners. DCR hired full-time urban and community foresters specifically for the reforestation program and they worked with public and private landowners to gain approval to replant trees on public and private property. Each spring and fall, DCR hired a number of tree planters from within the community to plant the trees by hand. DCR Reforestation staff also educated citizens and the community in proper tree care and maintenance.  When not overseeing the planting crews, the DCR urban and community foresters scheduled appointments to meet with property owners to discuss tree planting options, selecting the right tree for the right place from an offering of over 30 trees, including large shade trees, ornamentals, and conifers, ensuring a tree for every location.

Until ALB is declared eradicated from the Worcester area, both tree removal and tree planting numbers will continue to climb, although these numbers now grow at a much slower pace than nine years ago.  While removing trees to control the beetle is not an ideal option for most tree owners, they do have another option, and that is to have a new one planted on their property.

Read more…

In June 2011, the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) was discovered in Clermont County, Ohio by an Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) service forester responding to a landowner inquiry. Since that discovery, the ODNR Division of Forestry has worked closely with the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to restore canopy lost from eradication efforts, survey high-risk sites throughout Ohio and educate the public about ALB identification and its potential impacts.
In the fall of 2012, the ODNR Division of Forestry piloted an approach for restoring tree canopy lost in the eradication effort in southwest Ohio communities. The program’s intent was to restore lost canopy cover in maintained residential lawns, municipal streets and parks, commercial landscapes and other areas that would not normally support natural regeneration. Recovery in areas where regeneration occurs naturally, such as woodlots, stream banks, fencerows and non-maintained areas, was covered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
The ODNR Division of Forestry also provided technical assistance for tree selection, installation, and maintenance to ensure that the trees were planted properly in locations that would not conflict with existing above- or below-ground utilities, or reduce vehicular or pedestrian mobility or visibility. Property owners chose from a list of non-host species that were selected based on their aesthetic qualities and ability to perform well in the soils of Clermont County.  Each qualifying property owner was eligible for up to 10 replacement trees for their property.

ODNR Division of Forestry staff, along with volunteers from Clermont County Parks, Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District, ODA, USDA APHIS, Grant Career Center, Bethel Municipal staff and Davey Tree delivered and helped plant almost 300 trees on 55 properties in the pilot program. The large participation in the pilot program by affected property owners and volunteers spurred the establishment of the Tree Canopy Enhancement Program (TCEP), which provided an additional four rounds of tree distribution over the next several years. The last round of the TCEP in October 2016 distributed 372 trees to 83 properties bringing the program total to more than 1,600 trees distributed to more than 300 properties within the ALB quarantine zone.
Through U.S. Forest Service grant funding and in coordination with ODA and APHIS, the ODNR Division of Forestry also conducts surveys for ALB in areas surrounding the quarantine zone in southwest Ohio and other high-risk sites throughout the state. Areas of emphasis include private woodlands, urban and community trees, parks, campgrounds, distribution facilities, firewood dealers and recreational areas where host tree species exist. Informational packets about the signs and risks of ALB are distributed to land and business owners and staff working at the high-risk sites visited in the surveys.
Since many of the ALB infestations in the United States have been brought to officials’ attention by citizens, the importance of public outreach cannot be underestimated. The ODNR Division of Forestry conducts education and outreach at several meetings and forestry-related public events each year, as well as direct landowner visits to private woodlands in the areas impacted by ALB. Landowner visits focus on ALB identification and woodland management practices to address ALB impacts. Additionally, the division’s Urban Forestry Program hosted an ODA representative at each of the six regional urban forestry conferences to present Ohio’s ALB eradication program and further disseminate information.

As the eradication efforts continue in southwest Ohio, the ODNR Division of Forestry will continue to work with its local, state and federal partners to restore lost canopy, survey high-risk sites, and educate the public about this potentially devastating invasive insect in our midst.

Read more…

Share your urban forestry achievements here!

The Urban and Community Forestry Committee is comprised of urban forestry coordinators from each of the 20 member states and the District of Columbia. Urban forestry coordinators are responsible for leading state-level urban forestry programs in their respective states. Urban forestry is about the trees where people live, work and play - and so, includes trees and forests in our towns, along our streets, in our parks and in our backyards. State coordinators work with a wide range of constituents and partners including: local and tribal governments, school districts, nonprofits and community-based organizations all focused on improving the stewardship of trees and the ecosystem services they provide.

8 members
Join Us!