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Pest poses threat to S. China trees
By Liang Chao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-25 05:53

Trees in 17 provinces across southern China are under threat from the coral gall wasp. The pest came to the region through imported alien trees, and are particularly damaging to erythrina trees.

Officially recognized last year internationally, the pest was first spotted in July in South China's Shenzhen, after a few erythrina were found to have died, officials for the State Forestry Administration (SFA) announced yesterday at a press conference in Beijing.

Following its outbreak in Shenzhen, the pest was also found in Sanya and Wanning in Southern China's Hainan Province and Xiamen in Southeast China's Fujian Province, Wei Diansheng, director of SFA's Department of Afforestation, said.

"Since then, there have been reports of many trees affected by the pest, some of which have died," Wei said.

"It has become a high risk pest, with a potentially extreme threat to the erythrina," a tree species largely found in areas south of East China's Jiangsu Province, he warned, quoting a risk assessment carried out by experts.

"To prevent the spread of the pest, we have issued an emergency circular urging provinces to tighten their control over introduction, transportation and processing of the trees, and launched an investigation with quarantine and agricultural authorities," Wu Jian, also an official with SFA, said.

(China Daily 10/25/2005 page2)

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