From the Queens Chronicle:
Although federal officials are not declaring complete victory yet, it looks like those pesky Asian long-horned beetles have been eradicated in Queens.
Joseph Gittleman, regional project manager of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Asian Longhorned Beetle Project, told the Queens Chronicle that the closest infestation was in 2010 in Brooklyn. Because of the lack of the destructive insects, his office is re-evaluating the 10-year quarantine that Queens remains in.
It is illegal to transport wood out of the borough during the quarantine. Fines can run up to $250,000. Queens homeowners can arrange removal of branches and trees through the Sanitation Department by calling 311 and setting up a pickup date.
The wood must be bundled. All tree material must be removed by the city, even if it does not come from one of the susceptible species such as maple or sycamore.
The beetles destroy trees and the federal government fears they will get upstate and damage New York’s hardwood and maple syrup industries.
“We still are inspecting trees in affected neighborhoods,” Gittleman said. “It’s an ongoing process.”
Two inspectors are now working from Douglaston to the Van Wyck Expressway.