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Tree inspectors search for evidence of Asian Beetle

Tree inspectors, anticipating a new round of Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations in Queens, have been gearing up for a summertime battle with the insects this week by probing trees in Bayside and Ridgewood, said Joe Gittleman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Native to China, the Asian Longhorned Beetle was first discovered in separate infestations in Sunnyside and Ridgewood in 1997, Bayside in February 1999, and Flushing in August 1999.

Asian Longhorned Beetles infect trees by burrowing into the trunks, laying eggs and tunneling back out, leaving holes which prevent the trees from photosynthesizing and eventually kill the plants.

The only way to keep the beetles, which fly or get blown from tree to tree, from spreading is to chop the tree down and remove its trunk. Tree remains are then chipped twice and burned.

Gittleman, supervisor of the USDA

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