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City offers free Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer beetle (PSHB) pest training in Parow, Strand, Masiphumelele <p>By 31 January 2024, a total of 249 sightings of trees infested with the pest were reported in Newlands, Rondebosch, Mowbray, Claremont, Kenilworth, and in Observatory along the Liesbeek River. In the Helderberg area, over 4 832 infested trees have been sighted since 2019 to date.</p><p>The PSHB poses a serious threat to Cape Town's urban forest as infested trees have to be chipped. Importantly, the use of pesticides and fungicides have not proven effective at eradicating PSHB from infected trees.</p><p>We need the support and collaboration of residents and businesses working with plant material to prevent the spread of the pest. The City will again be hosting free training sessions for professionals handling infested plant material, as well as for residents. All are encouraged to attend these sessions.</p><p><strong>The details of the training sessions are as follows:</strong></p><ul><li>Tuesday, 27 February 2024, from 09:30 to 13:00 at the Jan Burger Hall, Jan Burger Sports Grounds, Parow North</li><li>Wednesday, 28 February 2024, from 09:30 to 13:00 at the Masiphumelele Community Hall, Corner Skina and Myeza Roads, Masiphumelele</li><li>Tuesday, 5 March 2024, from 09:30 to 13:00 at the Charles Morkel Hall, Church Street, Strand</li><li>RSVP by sending an email to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>; please indicate how many people will be attending and at which venue<br><br><br>Officials from the City's Invasive Species Unit will host the training sessions, and provide attendees with facts about the beetle, how it spreads, the threat it poses, and the infestations recorded in Cape Town to date. <br><br> <br>The PSHB beetle can easily spread across suburbs if extra precaution is not taken. Apart from infected wood, the beetle can also spread through clothing, vehicle crevices, or unclean horticultural equipment. <br><br> <br><strong>The City will educate and inform residents and businesses about the protocols applicable to infested trees and biomass, among which:</strong></li><li>How to identify infested trees and what symptoms to look out for</li><li>What to do next, what not to do</li><li>How to handle infested biomass </li><li>How to safely dispose of infested biomass</li><li>How to transport green waste </li><li>How to handle equipment and machinery in a manner that will not spread the pest to other areas<br><br> <br>'There are many formal and informal businesses involved with gardening and landscaping. These are gardeners, nurseries, horticulturists, tree fellers, woodcutters, and many more. I encourage business owners to attend one of the sessions if they can, and to bring along their staff. The training is free of charge, and will empower you to guide residents who need help with infestations, be it to chip the tree and solarise the biomass on site, or to safely transport the infested biomass to an appropriate site where it can be incinerated,<br><br> <br>'We are also encouraging residents to attend any of these free training sessions, especially if you have trees on your private property. The knowledge is useful and will empower property owners to take care of their gardens in a safe and responsible manner,' said the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.<br><br> <br><strong>What to look out for and symptoms of infested trees:</strong></li></ul><ul><li>Branch dieback – cracks on the branch; discoloured leaves; dry and leafless branches; branch break-off revealing webs of galleries filled with black fungus</li><li>Gumming – blobs of goo coming out of the bark; oozing of liquid and gum from the beetle holes</li><li>Entry and exit holes – very small holes on the bark of the tree, the size of a sesame seed (2mm); shotgun-like scars developing around the holes</li><li>Staining – brow or dark stains on the bark of the tree<br><br> <br><strong>Important: infested trees must be chipped on site and may not be removed from the property as the removal of the chipped wood will spread the pest to other areas. Do not buy and move fire wood from areas where trees are infested.</strong><br><strong> </strong><br><br><strong>How to report PSHB beetle sightings</strong></li></ul><ul><li>Online, at <a href="" target="_blank"></a></li><li>Call the City of Cape Town's Invasive Species Unit on 021 444 2357, Monday to Friday, from 07:30 to 16:00</li><li>Send an email to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> <br><br> <br><strong>What to do:</strong></li><li>Chip the tree, place the infested material in refuse bags, seal it and put these in direct sunlight for at least six weeks </li><li>Dump the chips in your compost heap as the heat build-up will kill the beetle</li><li>Burn infected wood chips at an appropriate incineration facilities</li><li>Where chipping is not possible, cut infested wood into smaller pieces that can fit into solarisation plastic bags</li><li>Tightly close and seal the bag with infested material and place it in an area with direct sunlight and leave it to solarise for at least six weeks in summer and up to six months in winter</li><li>Seek assistance from trained and equipped service providers with sound knowledge of PSHB</li><li>Do not move plant/tree material/firewood outside of areas where PSHB has been confirmed to be present to other areas</li><li>Do not transport any form of green waste in open vehicles, cover it with sail covers even if no PSHB has been identified as such green waste.</li><li>Clean tools and equipment used to trim/cut/prune plants <br><br> <br>The City will try its best to respond within 10 working days to verify a reported sighting. However, the response time will depend on the number of sightings reported.<br> <br><br> <br><br><strong>End</strong></li></ul><p><br></p>2024-02-14T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#4b2df85d-eaca-4558-9ca0-3e4a2868f939;L0|#04b2df85d-eaca-4558-9ca0-3e4a2868f939|invasive species;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#a033bd4c-8615-40e1-9208-ac860266052b;L0|#0a033bd4c-8615-40e1-9208-ac860266052b|Enviromental Hazards;GPP|#0113a19a-9f30-4410-bedb-736337f0d4b410

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