Here’s an alarming thought: The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has the potential to destroy 70 percent of our nation’s tree canopy. So the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared August Tree Check Month and is asking for your help saving trees from the ALB and other pests.
August is peak time for the emergence of the ALB. Since its discovery in 1996, this invasive pest has destroyed more than 80,000 trees in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Ohio. The trees affected are:
- Goldenrain Tree
- Mountain Ash
- London Planetree
The states mentioned above have been hit hard by the ALB, but all states are at risk. So as you work in your garden, stroll in the park, hang out in your yard and hike in the woods, the USDA asks that you:
- Look up. Stand back and look at the top of the tree. Do you see any dead or dying branches?
- Look it over. Focus on the tree trunk. Do you see the beetles, dime-sized exit holes or shallow scars in the bark?
- Look down. Do you see any sawdust-like shavings at the tree's base or on the branches? That's a sign the ALB has been eating.
- Take action. Report signs of ALB presence by calling 866-702-9938 or by reporting online.
Remember: If the ALB is allowed to spread, 70 percent of your community's tree canopy could be lost. Report what you see, and keep our nation's trees strong and healthy for future generations.