Massachusetts: Beetle excuses will destroy Worcester’s urban forest

Five months after the pest was discovered in the city’s Greendale
section, the first of approximately 6,000 trees will be cut down and
chipped into half-inch pieces, part of a $24 million effort to keep
the beetles from spreading into nearby hardwood forests. A large tree
in front of Mr. Rucci’s property is marked with the red-paint dot of a
tree destined to be removed. Mr. Rucci said his neighbor had several
trees marked, including one that came down on top of Mr. Rucci’s
chimney during the Dec. 11-12 ice storm. The Asian longhorned beetle
will begin reshaping parts of Worcester tomorrow as workers start
cutting and removing the first of thousands of trees infested with the
invasive Chinese insect.

Three sections of the city will be the
initial focus for tree removal as workers from Northern Tree Service
and Mayer Tree Service take chain saws and chippers to infested trees
in a 2.2-square-mile area in hopes of halting the beetle’s spread.
Workers will begin felling trees on Fairhaven Road and Greendale
Avenue, on Quinsigamond Community College property and at Kendrick
Field, according to the federal-state-city partnership overseeing the
eradication effort. All tree removals and chipping will be performed
at no charge to the homeowner. Residents with infested trees were
notified by certified mail and asked to return a signed release form.
Door-hangers announcing the operations have also been distributed to
impacted homes, and Asian longhorned beetle program employees have
visited communities to answer questions and collect the property
access permission forms required for tree removals on private

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