Update: 3 in Custody Following Police Pursuit in Long Beach Area

27 Million Trees in SoCal at Risk of Dying Because of Beetle Threat

One type of beetle could kill as many as 27 million trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including parts of the desert. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The trees that shade, cool and feed people from Ventura County to the Mexican border are dying so fast that within a few years it’s possible the region will look, feel, sound and smell much less pleasant than it does now.

The polyphagous shot hole borer beetle on a sycamore tree in Craig Regional Park in Fullerton.
(Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

“We’re witnessing a transition to a post-oasis landscape in Southern California,” says Greg McPherson, a supervisory research forester with the U.S. Forest Service who has been studying what he and others call an unprecedented die-off of the trees greening Southern California’s parks, campuses and yards.

Botanists in recent years have documented insect and disease infestations as they’ve hop-scotched about the region, devastating Griffith Park’s sycamores and destroying over 100,000 willows in San Diego County’s Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, for example.

McPherson’s is the first survey to quantify and assess the big picture.

Read the full story on LATimes.com