Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Imported Weevil May Attack Pest Tree

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An Australian weevil may be the answer to a pest tree infesting the Florida Everglades, the U.S. Agriculture Department said. The melaleuca tree--classified as a weed--competes with the park's native vegetation for growing room and absorbs water four times faster than native saw grass. Scientist Joe Balciunas, who is in Townsville, Australia, said the weevil-- Oxyopos vitiosa-- feeds on the growing tips of the tree's branches. Many of the melaleuca trees were planted in the 1940s and 1950s to help control erosion.

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