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Government team scours other Halifax areas after Bedford beetle infestation

Click to play video: 'Government team looking at other areas in Halifax potentially infested with invasive beetle' Government team looking at other areas in Halifax potentially infested with invasive beetle
Tue, Oct 9: A team made of up members from all three levels of government is looking in other areas in Halifax that the emerald ash borer might be found in. Steve Silva reports – Oct 9, 2018

Work is underway this week to find other areas in Halifax that could have infestations of an invasive beetle that was recently found in the Bedford community.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced last month that the emerald ash borer, which has destroyed millions of trees in North America, was found for the first time in Nova Scotia.

“They usually come into the crown of the tree and get into the small branches up high and then work their way down the trunk,” Jon Sweeney, a research scientist for Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service, said in Bedford on Tuesday. “By the time it’s in the trunk, it’s probably been in the tree for one to two, three years possibly,”

READ MORE: Emerald ash borer found for the first time in Nova Scotia

He and other members of a team in DeWolf Park demonstrated to a Global News journalist what’s called the branch-peeling technique.

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It entails sawing off a branch of a tree, then peeling away the bark to expose a layer where larvae could potentially be located eating the green portion.

The technique is used to determine if there’s an infestation when there are no external signs of a beetle infestation, and it will be used on trees in several areas for three days.

Their findings will then be sent to CFIA.

WATCH: Ash trees in danger?

Another reason for the activity is to act as a practice exercise for the team. The team includes members from the municipal government, the provincial government, and CFIA.

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“This park is largely probably about 80 per cent ash, and over a decade, it is quite possible that most if not all of these [ash] trees could die,” Tim Outhit, the area’s councillor, said in an interview last month.

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