The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service have awarded an additional $300,000 in grant funding to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County for its campaign to replace trees infested by Asian long-horned beetles, officials announced.
The Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, began replacing trees harmed by the pests in 2015, according to Gregory Sandor, the Cooperative Extension’s executive director.
Since then, staffers have replanted more than 1,000 trees in the 10-square-mile quarantine zone that centers on the towns of Babylon and Oyster Bay, Sandor said.
This new round of funding will enable the Cooperative Extension to continue replacing infested trees until November 2018, Sandor said. He added that 1996 marked the first U.S. sighting of the long-horned beetle. Since then, the insects have spread to central Long Island and hit the area’s maple trees hardest.
Residents who fear a tree on their property may be infested can request that the Agriculture Department remove it by calling its Amityville office at 631-598-5943.
Residents in the quarantine area who have had an infested tree removed and would like a replacement can contact the Cornell team at 516-565-5265, ext. 15.