The tiny beetle ravaging Cape Town’s trees
The shot-hole borer is ravaging the city’s trees from within, while bark-strippers attack from without
Cape Town’s leafy suburbs are in danger of losing up to 40% of their canopies to the same insect predator that has infected trees across the land, the tiny shot-hole borer beetle. There’s also a threat from people who strip the Cape Peninsula’s trees of their bark for medicinal purposes.
The beetle was first spotted in Newlands, Cape Town, in January and is spreading rapidly, often in firewood or pallets. “It could potentially be one of South Africa’s largest ecological tragedies,” according to TreeKeepers, an association dedicated to conserving Cape Town’s urban forest, which gives the 40% tree-loss estimate...
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