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Tree Climbers to Canvass Jersey City, Hoboken Neighborhoods
for Asian Longhorned Beetle

For Immediate Release: November 6, 2002


Hope Gruzlovic




Representatives from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Hoboken City will hold a public meeting Monday, Dec. 2, to discuss ongoing efforts to address the Asian longhorned beetle infestation and to answer any questions residents may have.

Representatives from the N.J. Department of Agriculture (NJDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday will begin inspecting trees in public parks in Jersey City and Hoboken for evidence of infestation by the Asian longhorned beetle.

Inspectors are set to expand the survey into residential neighborhoods toward the end of next week. Property owners will be asked to allow inspectors access to their yards and trees so the extent of the infestation can be determined.

"We are asking all Jersey City and Hoboken residents and businesses to help us in this important battle against the Asian longhorned beetle," said Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus. "Their cooperation is key to preventing the beetle's spread, and protecting forested areas and residential trees throughout the state and the region."

The Asian longhorned beetle, which attacks and kills maple and other hardwood trees, was discovered in Jersey City last month. It was the first time the beetle, which has caused serious tree losses in New York and Chicago, had been sighted in New Jersey.

After confirming the beetle's presence, the NJDA quarantined the affected 9-acre site and the surrounding 1 ½ - mile area. The quarantine restricts the movement of firewood, green lumber and other living, dead, cut or fallen material, including nursery stock, logs, stumps, roots and branches, from potential host trees. These materials may not be moved outside the quarantined area.

Initial surveys indicate 101 trees within the 9-acre area are affected. The largely commercial site is just north of the Newport Parkway and just east of Washington Boulevard. Inspectors have examined all potential host trees within a quarter-mile radius of the 9-acre site and have found no evidence of further infestation.

With the help of 10 tree climbers from the U.S. Forest Service, state and federal officials will canvass parks and neighborhoods for signs of infestation in potential host trees.

Residents will be able to recognize the inspectors by their orange vests. Inspectors also will wear their NJDA- or USDA-issued identification badge.

NJDA and Jersey City officials will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall in Jersey City to discuss the coordinated approach to addressing the Asian longhorned beetle and to answer any questions that residents may have.