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September 15, 2003
Toronto responds to Asian Longhorned Beetle's attack on urban forest
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALHB) which has devastated the tree canopies in
parts of New York and Chicago since the late 1990s has now been discovered in
parts of the City of Vaughan and the City of Toronto.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing an aggressive
campaign to control and eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALHB) following
confirmation of its infestation on September 11. This is the first confirmed
infestation of Asian Longhorned Beetle attacking trees in Canada.

This beetle is an invasive quarantine insect, native to Asia and is known to
kill healthy trees. ALHB can attack the majority of Canadian broadleaf trees,
including species of maple, birch, poplars, willow and fruit trees.

The City of Toronto has been vigilant in its surveillance of the urban forest
for signs of this pest following its initial detection in the United States in
the late 1990s. In 2000, Toronto City Council approved an emergency response
plan in the event that the pest is discovered in Toronto. The City is now
implementing this response plan.

As Toronto's Tree Advocate, I am committed in my support of the CFIA's and
Toronto Urban Forestry's plan to stop the advance of the Asian Longhorned
Beetle and rebuild our forest by taking the following course of
  • Identify area of infestation and the eradication of this invasive pest within the affected area
  • Seek funding through the Government of Canada and the CFIA to cover the costs of eradicating the infestation and replanting trees in our city
  • Appeal to Toronto residents and businesses to support our extensive re-planting efforts
  • Continue our public education efforts to provide information about threats to Toronto's urban forest
  • Encourage Toronto residents and businesses to work with the Toronto's excellent Urban Forestry Unit to identify and report areas of infestation.
Toronto's Tree Advocacy Planting Program (TAPP) has been
successful in adding 200,000 trees to Toronto's urban forest since its
inception four years ago. The Asian Longhorned Beetle presents a serious
setback to our efforts to continue to green our city - and I am appealing to
all Torontonians to be vigilant and report signs of infestation to the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342, or check

Media contact:
Joe Pantalone,
Councillor,Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina,
Toronto Tree Advocate,



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