This is a story of an insect, ALB, it’s devastating impact on an urban community, and the community’s response.
In August, 2008, a resident noticed an unusual looking beetle in her back yard. She decided to call USDA for an identification, and within 24 hours, federal agents were at her door.
Changing neighborhoods from this:
Understand that in New England, tree canopy is part of our culture; part of our social fabric, and the reason we live here; it’s our identity. Toursits come from all over for “leaf peeping” inf the fall. Trees direct us (turn right at the big oak tree), they calm us, they provide memories.
2nd largest city in NE; pop: 181,000; Located in central Mass; 35 sq. miles; middle, working class; industrial past; gritty inner city neighborhoods and tree lined, suburban neighborhoods.
In Worcester, many of our streets are bordered by tree lined streets where the canopy connects overhead, forming “tunnels”
Eventually, the quarantine zone would spread to 104 square miles and include all of Worcester, Boylston and West Boylston and parts of Holden, Shrewsbuy and Auburn.
Congressman McGovern and Lt. Governor Tim Murray (both residents of Worcester) see frustration and despair, and wanting to get some reforestation, some hope, going quickly, launch a private, non profit organization to start replanting spring 2009.
Our First “tree giveaway”, where people came, registered, got trained how to plant a tree, and took it home to plant - Burncoat High School; CSX sponsored; DCR, USFS, APHIS, Planted over 120 trees that day and gave away 400 more. We had a lot to learn
Planting Partners: City of Worcester Forestry division, planting all the Street Trees. 1,000/year.
DCR: 40 seasonal planters to help in the Spring and Fall. Private trees. Working with residents who had lost trees, going door to door and spending time siting trees on private property.
Stewardship is key to future health of urban forest. All of our programs promote stewardship through education, hands on experience, having fun, making a difference.
Planting with school children; Planted at over 45 schools.
Young Adult Foresters – summer jobs program for inner city youth. Tree watering
“Neighborhood Tree Stewards” – volunteers who help train, plant, educate. We provide them with additional trainings on topics from tree health, climate change, pruning, fruit trees. They will learn about pests, how to contain, eyes looking out for future pests.
Track all of our trees;
Add: Resident sees unfamiliar insect; USDA notified; 3 trees affected. Pest eradicated.
“Community Response to Asian Longhorned Beetle Invasion” by Peggy Middaugh, Director, Worcester Tree Initiative
Asian Longhorned Beetle Infestation
and Community Response
Worcester Tree Initiative
Alliance for Community Trees
P.O. Box 2874, Worcester MA 01613
November, 2013 Barber Ave. Worcester
Located at: 240
ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
Massachusetts Eradication Program
Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB):
• August, 2008: Resident calls
USDA to identify beetle in her
• January, 2009: Tree Removals
• September, 2013: Over 32,000
5,500 trees have been given to
residents to plant in their yards
We’ve held over 40 “giveaway”
Recipients must be trained how
to plant a tree properly
Don’t plant too deep
Straighten out the roots
No mulch volcanos!!
• Wal-Mart Foundation
• US Forest Service (ARRA Funding)
• Mass Dept. of Conservation and Recreation
Millbury Savings Bank
Mayer Tree Service
Congressman James P. McGovern
Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray
December 31, 2012
22,000 trees planted
October 31, 2013
27,500 trees planted
October 4, 2014
30,000th Tree Planted!!
• Students maintain public street trees as part
of required curriculum.
• Worcester reduces energy consumption by
30% by planting large shade trees
– National Grid removes last of obsolete power
• ALB Eradicated in Worcester County