Beetle threat to treesChinese tree-destroyers are in the UK

06 September 2005

Gardeners are being asked to look out for a Chinese, tree-destroying beetle after several were found in the UK.

Citrus Longhorn beetles have been discovered in imported Chinese maple trees in Lancashire and in the south of England.

The black beetle - which is 21-37mm in length - is a serious plant pest; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is taking steps stamp it out.

Originating in China, the beetle has occasionally been found in the UK. There's currently a major outbreak in the Lombardia region of Italy.

The adult lays eggs into bark and the larvae develop inside the tree, taking one to three years to emerge as adults.

The Citrus Longhorn is large with distinct white markings and long 'horns' or antennae which are longer than the body and are black with white bands.

The pest could be found on a wide range of trees or shrubs and anybody finding one should contact their local Plant Health and Seeds Inspector or Forestry Commission office, details of which can be found on the Defra and Forestry Commission websites.