Today, I went for a ride to the next town over, Shrewsbury. Wow, what a sight, it looks like a war zone. First of all this town, along with a few more surrounding towns have had an invasion of the Asian longhorned beetle. This beetle is an invasive species that came from China. It is a pest to a varitey of hardwood trees including maple, birch, and horse chestnut. The United States Department of Agirculture has quarintined the area. Which means, that no natural wood products can be moved in this area, in or out. By natural wood, I mean sticks, branches, stumps, roots, firewood. So the US forest Service, the USDA, and the Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture has a program going on to erradicate the beetle. Chooping down trees that have been infected and chemical treatment of of host trees. This problem number one for this area. Go to http://www.uvm.edu/albeetle/ for a lot of qulity info, pics and videos about the ALB.
In the beginning of December, there was a severe "Ice Storm" that broke a lot of branches off of the trees and knocked trees down. Unfortunately this ice storm happened in the same towns as the beetle infestation. Double whamy. The residents can only stack the depris from the storm in piles on their property by the road, they can't move it because of the quarintine.
So when you drive in those towns, all you see is broken trees, piles of sticks and branches piled up on everyone's lawn and now the tree companies are cutting down the 75-100 year old trees that have been affected by the beetle. What a mess and it is going to take a long time to get it all cleaned up. The most unfortunate problem, is that now all of these properties have no more trees on them. It will take years to grow those back again.