Back Bay Garden Club to Celebrate Arbor Week With Pop-Up Event

The Back Bay Garden Club and Speak for the Trees will be hosting a pop-up Zoom forum on invasive insects in the urban forest on Thursday, April 29.

As part of the event, UMass Extension Entomologist Tawny Simisky will speak about how invasive insects not only impact naturalized areas, but also the urban forests and managed landscapes as well. Insects including the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) and emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) have had striking impacts in Massachusetts and beyond. Relatively new non-native species, like the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), continue to threaten our shade trees, ornamentals, and agriculture. The presentation will discuss how to identify these organisms and the damage they cause, their biology, and where to report suspicious insects so you can help protect the Commonwealth.

“Invasive insects present a very present danger to Boston trees, particularly the host trees to the Asian Longhorn Beetle and the Emerald Ash Borer,” said BBGC Member Margaret Pokorny. “Our downtown parks are clear of these insects for the moment but they have been spotted in areas too close for comfort. The Parks Department and the Friend of the Public Garden are monitoring the situation closely. If caught early there is some possibility to treat the trees, if it gets out of hand whole populations, thousands of trees have to be cut down to isolate the area of infestation from spreading. One strategy in the downtown parks is to systematically replace the current ash tree population with non-host trees. This in itself is a radical solution.”  

David Meshoulam, of Speak for the Trees, said the program is part of a larger Arbor Week that goes from April 24 to May 1, and features a series of in-person and online programs.

“We are thrilled to announce Boston ArborWeek 2021,” he said. “Beginning on Saturday April 24th and running through Saturday, May 1, through a series of virtual and in person events, we will be celebrating Boston’s urban forest and its trees. There is something in it for everyone: free seedlings, tree talks, tree meditation walks, tree giveaways, and tree movies. We invite community members to learn more at our website”

To register for the Back Bay Garden Club event, please go to this web address:

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