The Asian Long-horned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, ALHB), also known as the starry sky beetle, is a large, exotic wood-boring forest pest native to Asia that attacks and kills a wide range of deciduous trees, including the preferred species of birch, elm, hackberry, horse chestnut, maple, poplar, sycamore and willow. The spread of this beetle has developed into one of the most complex forest health issues facing our urban forest today.
The ALHB has no natural predators in Canada and is able to survive harsh winter conditions. The ease of its spread has necessitated a quarantined area for wood products to mitigate the spread of the ALHB. It covers sections of Mississauga and west Toronto.
There are three simple steps individuals can take to help stop the spread of ALHB:
1) Don’t spread firewood. In Canada, the CFIA’s plant protection policies are in effect to control the movement of wood from quarantined areas. If you are planning on camping or going to the cottage this summer, make sure your firewood is purchased and burned locally. Moving wood products such as firewood, trees, logs, lumber or bark chips from quarantined zones may lead to infestations elsewhere.
2) Learn about the ALHB. It is important that we take the time to learn about preferred host species and the signs and symptoms of ALHB-infected trees. Keep in mind there are various other native insects that look similar to the ALHB (the white spotted sawyer beetle, the western conifer seed bug and the banded alder beetle) which are often mistakenly reported. A thorough investigation is critical when it comes to identifying ALHB infested trees.
3) Report any signs and symptoms. If you believe you have come across the ALHB, please contact your local CFIA office by calling 1-800-442-2342 or visiting www.inspection.gc.ca. If you are a property owner within or near the designated infested areas and you suspect your tree may be infested, notify the CFIA for immediate removal, free of charge. Remember, insecticides do not protect infested trees and will only kill some of the beetles when applied to trees before they have been attacked.
Tree species that LEAF offers as part of its Residential Planting Programs that are not preferred Asian Long-Horned Beetle species include:
Basswood (Tilia americana)
Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
Blue beech (Carpinus caroliniana)
Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Grey dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
Honey locust (Gleditsia tricanthos)
Ironwood (Ostraya virginiana)
Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
Red oak (Quercus rubra)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)
Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
White pine (Pinus strobus)
White spruce (Picea glauca)