The invasive beetle that has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees over the past decade has been found east of New York's Hudson River for the first time, marking its closest known threat to New England.
Researchers tell The Associated Press the emerald ash borer colony was caught less than a year after it got established, a big step given that the beetle can go unnoticed for years.
Ash trees, prized as a commercial hardwood and a feature in urban plantings, have been ravaged since the Chinese beetle was first discovered near Detroit in 2002 and started its eastward march.
Borer infestations were found in western New York in 2009.
The larval beetle tunnels under the bark, destroying a tree without any sign until its foliage yellows and dies.