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First hit - Premier mot clé
PUBLICATION: CTV - CTV NEWS
DATE: 2000.05.23

A natural predator, the brown spruce long horn beetle, has been found in eastern Canada


LLOYD ROBERTSON: And from a threat to nature in northern Canada to a natural predator that has arrived in eastern Canada. Scientists in Nova Scotia say they have discovered a brown spruce long horn beetle, the first ever spotted in Canada. Normally found in Europe and Asia, the <beetle> is attacking red spruce <trees> which can't fight off the <pest>. Officials suspect it arrived here on board a cargo ship. First hit - Premier mot clé  

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First hit - Premier mot clé
PUBLICATION: The Chronicle-Herald
DATE: 2000.05.24
SECTION: Metro
PAGE: A1
SOURCE: Staff Reporter
BYLINE: Bill Power
ILLUSTRATION:Peter Parsons / Herald Photo Doug Brown, senior specialconstable in charge of park patrol, points to a hole in a diseased red spruce log at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax on Tuesday.

; Beetles killing park spruce likely arrived from port


A foreign pest is ravaging the red spruce population at Point Pleasant Park.

Teams of specialists are expected to converge over the next few days to assess the damage at the 75-hectare Halifax park, one of the province's busiest.

But it was clear Tuesday that a significant number of trees - most already dead or dying - will have to be removed in a bid to eliminate the blight.

"It's a very serious situation and at the moment we're trying to determine the extent of the damage," John O'Brien, a spokesman for Halifax Regional Municipality, said Tuesday.

"We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best."

The red spruce is the predominant species at the south-end Halifax natural showcase, which entertained 1.5 million recorded visitors last year.

In a report released over the weekend, the Canadian Forest Service identified the infestation of a difficult-to-detect insect called the brown spruce longhorn beetle.

Hungry larvae from the beetle have already killed many red spruce and are continuing to munch away at the innards of countless others. Officials are speculating the insect - native to parts of Europe and Asia - arrived in recent years aboard a shipment through the nearby Port of Halifax and soon found the red spruce population at the park to its liking.

A swarm of health and forestry officials from various levels of government will descend on the park to determine how many of the red spruce can be saved and whether the insect has spread beyond the borders of the park.

Removal of many red spruce trees will be one option carefully and immediately considered, said Walter Fanning, manager of forest protection with the province's Natural Resources Department.

"A wood-boring insect that gets inside the trunk (of a tree) like this is difficult to get at, so topical solutions are generally ineffective," he said.

Usually the trees must be removed.

"Our biggest concern at this point is containment and determining also if the beetle has moved beyond the park and into provincial forests."

Difficult decisions will have to be made quickly, according to Gregg Cunningham, with the <Canadian> <Food> <Inspection> <Agency> in Halifax.

The threat of a regional outbreak must be seriously considered, he said.

"The infestation is associated with a high (tree) mortality rate, perhaps as high as 70 per cent."

In recent years, regional work crews have taken down more than a thousand dead or dying trees in the park.

Researchers originally thought the problem could be a combination of factors, including insects, a fungus, drought or environmental pollution.

Those factors may have weakened the red spruce population, making it susceptible to infestation, Mr. O'Brien said.

The brown spruce longhorn beetle usually feeds on dead or dying trees, but appears to be attacking healthy red spruce trees in the park as well.

Ironically, it was just last year that widespread concern about potentially harmful insects arriving with wood shipments prompted Ottawa to institute a ban on imports of low-quality wood from China and Hong Kong.

"In this case, there is speculation the insect was in low-quality wood, probably of the sort used to secure a ship's cargo," Mr. Cunningham said.

The infestation at Point Pleasant Park most likely predates the ban, he said. First hit - Premier mot clé  

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First hit - Premier mot clé
PRIORITY: Rush
CATEGORY:National general news
DATE: 2000.05.23
DATELINE: HALIFAX
PUBLICATION: cpw

AM-Pest-Ravages-Park code:4; hqq; HALIFAX OUT; INDEX: Forestry; HL:New pest ravaging trees in popular N.S. park


HALIFAX (CP) - A foreign pest is ravaging the red spruce of Nova Scotia's busiest park.

Teams of specialists are expected to converge on Point Pleasant Park in Halifax over the next few days to assess the damage caused by the brown spruce longhorn beetle - a pest officials believe may have entered the country on a ship.

A significant number of trees, most already dead or dying, will have to be removed in a bid to eliminate the blight.

``It's a very serious situation and at the moment we're trying to determine the extent of the damage,'' said John O'Brien, a spokesman for Halifax Regional Municipality.

``We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.''

The red spruce is the predominant species in park, which attracted 1.5 million visitors last year.

Hungry larvae from the beetle have already killed many red spruce and are continuing to munch away at the innards of countless others.

Officials believe the insect, which is native to parts of Europe and Asia, arrived in recent years aboard a ship that docked at a container near the park.

``Our biggest concern at this point is containment and determining also if the beetle has moved beyond the park and into provincial forests,'' said Walter Fanning, manager of forest protection for the provincial Natural Resources Department.

Difficult decisions will have to be made quickly, added Gregg Cunningham of the <Canadian> <Food> <Inspection> <Agency> in Halifax.

The threat of a regional outbreak must be seriously considered, he said.

``The infestation is associated with a high mortality rate, perhaps as high as 70 per cent,'' he said.

In recent years, crews have taken down more than 1,000 dead or dying trees in the 75-hectare park in south-end Halifax. (Halifax Chronicle-Herald)
TIME: 22:04 (Eastern Time)First hit - Premier mot clé