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Letter: Eradicating beetle involves tree loss

John Wernet, of the DEC, holds a piece

John Wernet, of the DEC, holds a piece of bark that has a southern pine beetle attached in Hampton Bays, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Credit: Randee Daddona

Hundreds of trees have been cut down in attempt to stop the spread of the hardwood-eating Asian long-horned beetle ["Beating the beetles," News, May 11].

To eradicate this invasive species, New York State announced a million-dollar effort to replace infested trees with new ones resistant to the beetle. However, some tree owners have been disappointed when trees were removed that had been planted in recognition of a memorial or an event.

Although a tree may be sentimental to a tree owner, trees can be replaced by 22 varieties, such as cherry, oaks and dogwoods. These replacements are less palatable to beetle larvae. The first recipient of the new trees, Rocco Amoroso, had three maples planted on the lawn of his business and admires their beauty.

I believe that most people would react the way he did; the attempt by New York State to eliminate the pest will be worthwhile.

Robert McCormick, Oceanside