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A pernicious pest that feeds on maples and other hardwood trees, Asian Long-Horned Beetles (ALBs) are an invasive species to the US. Their presence threatens several tree varieties, as an ALB infestation can kill a full-grown tree of a species they like. Protecting your property against this pest requires knowledge of its habits and frequent inspections of your trees. If you notice signs of their presence, reach out to Timber Works Tree Care. We can remove an afflicted tree or provide land clearing services to prevent the spread of ALBs.

A provider of tree services for Front Royal, VA, Timber Works has built a reputation for outstanding customer service and reliable work. We offer tree removal, pruning, forestry mulching, brush clearing, and more services to home and business owners. Our team members use the best equipment and observe all pertinent safety regulations to complete their work. Moreover, we’re covered by Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance to protect our customers in the case of an accident. Visit our website today and fill out our online form for a free project estimate!

Below, we go into detail about ALBs and how to detect them in your trees:

Overview of the Asian Long-Horned Beetle

ALBs first appeared in Brooklyn in 1996, probably arriving in shipping materials from Asia. Although native to China and the Korean peninsula, they seem comfortable in several regions of the US. ALB sightings occur as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as South Carolina.

Full-grown beetles end up between 1 and 1.5 inches long with protracted antennae, black bodies, and white spots. ALBs attack trees for reproductive purposes: females chew a cavity into the bark of a hardwood tree and lay a tiny egg therein. Once the larva hatches, it bores into its host tree and feeds on the nutrients within the tree’s tissue. 

Throughout their development, larvae create tunnels under their host tree’s surface. After about 1 year of feeding and molting, the adult beetle emerges to mate and lay its eggs. While they can fly to other trees in search of a mate, adult beetles usually lay their eggs in the tree they emerged from.

Due to the length of time larvae require to grow, signs of affliction develop slowly. Following initial infestation, a tree can take 3-4 years to show symptoms and 10-15 years to die.

Common ALB Tree Targets

Every pest favors certain trees for infestation. ALBs, specifically, prefer such Virginia tree species as:

  • Maple (Acer)
  • Willow (Salix)
  • Elm (Ulmus)
  • Ash (Fraxinus)
  • Birch (Betula)
  • Horsechestnut/buckeye (Aesculus)
  • London planetree/sycamore (Platanus)
  • Poplar (Populus)

ALBs in the US tend to infest maples, elms, and willows more than any other species.

Preventing ALB Infestations

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) works throughout the eastern seaboard to eradicate ALB infestations. For instance, they regulate materials entering the US to prevent the further import of invasive species. Moreover, they oversee preventative measures (such as fumigation) during import.

If someone reports ALBs in the wild on US soil, APHIS works with regional governments to eradicate the beetles. Doing so may include quarantining an infested area, removing affected trees, and informing the public about ALBs’ presence.

All that said, what can you do to fight an ALB infestation?

Defending Your Trees Against ALBs

Defense against ALBs comes down to early detection: the sooner you discover their presence, the sooner you can stop their spread and damage. Thus, you should inspect your trees for infestations regularly.

Tree inspections require little effort and time. Indeed, we recommend making your inspections a routine aspect of standard tree care. Since many property owners already consider whether cicadas or other bugs will harm their trees, they need only add ALBs to their list of things to watch out for.

If you spot an ALB or notice any other signs of infestation or decay, do not hesitate to contact Timber Works for immediate assistance.

Professional Land Clearing Available in Front Royal, VA!

Despite the headache that ALBs and other pests present, you can remain confident in your tree management. Stay vigilant, inspect routinely, and reach out to Timber Works Tree Care with any questions or concerns. We are the Front Royal, VA, region’s provider of tree removal, pruning, firewood, stump grinding, and land clearing services. Whether you have a specific service in mind or a general question about tree care, you can rely on Timber Works’ expertise. Call us today at (540) 692-9606 or visit our website and fill out our form for a free project estimate!

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