This beetle is killing Joburg’s trees, and the race is on to ...

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This beetle is killing Joburg’s trees, and the race is on to avert disaster

Despite many attempts a solution is elusive, and the critters have been spotted in every other province, too

Kim Harrisberg

Researchers and city officials are racing to understand the extent of a beetle infestation damaging trees across SA that, if left unaddressed, could have a ripple effect on the climate, air quality and ecosystems.

The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB), indigenous to Southeast Asia, is a tiny beetle that drills holes into trees, depositing a fungus that can eventually kill its hosts.

Estimates of the infestation in Johannesburg, SA’s biggest city, range from 5,000 to well over 20,000 trees, while figures across the country are not yet known...

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