How to remove trees without spreading beetles

As residents clean up the trees and branches knocked down by tropical storm Irene last weekend, they must be careful not to spread the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

Most of Jamaica Plain remains under a ban against transporting wood out of the area due to the possibility that the tree-killing ALB is hiding inside it. ALBs were found last year at Faulkner Hospital, but appear not to have spread from there. The City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department wants to keep it that way, and has the following tips.

The state keeps a list of companies that are certified in removing and transporting wood that is possibly infested with ALB. Residents hiring a tree removal company should make sure it is on that list. The list is available by calling 508-852-8110 or visiting

The state also recommends using the following organizations to find a tree removal contractor: International Society of Arborists ( and Massachusetts Certified Arborists (

For residents cleaning up smaller branches themselves, it is important to handle the wood properly. Branches should be placed in a separate marked barrel or paper leaf bag and put out on the curb on trash collection day. Branches should not be mixed with regular trash. The city will pick up the branches and run them through a wood chipper.

To report fallen trees that are blocking a public street or causing some other public danger, call the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500.

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