FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A planting project on Long Island will replace trees destroyed by Asian Long-Horned Beetles.

Once the tiny critters begin to feed on a tree, the tree dies very quickly.

“It’s devastating because once the tree is infected with the beetle, there’s no real effective control for it as far as a pesticide,” said Vinny Drzequcki from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County. “The only recourse is to remove the tree.”

About 2,600 trees across Long Island have been killed by the beetles and officials hope more than half will be replaced thanks to a $1 million federal grant given to New York for a replanting program.

The project kicked off Wednesday in Farmingdale, where officials planted three Cherry trees outside Amoroso Wood Products Company, replacing Maple trees that were attacked and killed by the beetles.

The beetles do not attack Cherry trees.

“Let’s hope that these Cherry trees will grow and bloom in beauty,” company owner Rocco Amoroso said.

The beetles are an invasive species and came from Asia probably on packing wood crate material, Drzequcki said.

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