A new and potentially serious threat to some of North America’s most beautiful and popular trees is the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis). Native to parts of Asia, the beetle is believed to have arrived in North America in the wooden packing material used in cargo shipments from China. Isolated Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations have been discovered in Brooklyn and Amityville, New York, and in Chicago, Illinois. In all instances where Asian Longhorned Beetles have been found, authorities have reacted quickly to stop the infestation from spreading.
Trees favored by the Asian Longhorned Beetle are predominantly maples, but infestations have also been discovered in horsechestnuts, poplars, willows, elms, mulberries and black locusts. Currently, there is no known chemical or biological defense against the Asian Longhorned Beetle and, in North America, they have few natural predators. In all cases of infestation, the affected trees are cut down and the wood destroyed.