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UC Irvine's leafy campus is now one big laboratory to fight tree-killing beetle

UC Irvine's leafy campus is now one big laboratory to fight tree-killing beetle

When the first few sycamores began dying in UC Irvine's Aldrich Park in late 2014, the victims numbered in the dozens. But over the next several months, hundreds of cottonwoods, native willows, goldenrain and coral trees met the same fate.

"We've seen infestations of pests, but nothing to this extent," said Richard Demerjian, director of UCI's Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability. "It came as quite a shock."

It was the work of the polyphagous shot-hole borer, an invasive beetle that's been attacking and killing an astonishing range of trees throughout...

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