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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Deadly beetle released in woods
Citrus longhorn beetle
The beetles were seen coming out of a Japanese maple tree
Gardeners in Shropshire are being asked to be on the look out for a beetle which can damage trees.

A number of citrus longhorn beetles, a quarantine-listed pest which is black with white bands, were found coming out of a tree in a Telford garden.

One was released into Middlepool Wood in Wrockwardine, before it was realised what species it was.

The beetles larvae damages trees by boring through trunks, leaving them susceptible to damage and disease.

Maple tree

A Defra spokesman said anyone who sees one should trap it and report it.

The beetles were first seen coming out of a Japanese maple tree in a garden in Hadley.

The spokesman said: "The beetles originate in Asia, but have been moving around the world in internationally-traded bonsais and young trees.

"There is currently an outbreak of this pest in northern Italy."

The beetle attacks mainly citrus and apple trees, but also beech, hazel, oak, maple and birch.

Any findings should be reported to the Plant Health and Seed Inspectorate.




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