The emerald ash borer is a relatively recent arrival in New Jersey. It was first spotted in the state in Somerset County in 2014. As of this summer, it’s been found in Bergen, Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex and Monmouth counties as well.
And now, the New Jersey Emerald Ash Borer Task Force says every ash tree in the state is at risk for infestation by this little green pest. The task force is made up of representatives from the NJ Department of Agriculture, the state’s Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Rutgers University.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive, wood-boring beetle that comes from Asia and made its way to America sometime in the last few decades. They’ve destroyed millions of ash trees in the last 14 years while putting another 8 billion trees at risk.
Emerald Ash Borer Treatment in PA & NJ
According to the task force:
- It’s appropriate to begin treating high-value trees now.
- The state recommends people work with certified tree experts to help determine whether trees need to be treated or removed. They are certified pesticide applicators and will perform any chemical treatment on trees.
- Trees determined to be at high risk should be removed right away.
- Actively infested trees need to be chopped down and chipped as soon as possible. Their remains should stay in your municipality. (Transporting infected ash wood across state lines is prohibited in some places.)
- For all other trees, it’s best to remove them in fall or winter.
An infestation occurs when the adult EAB lays eggs inside a tree. The eggs grow into larvae, which feed on the tissue that brings the tree water and nutrients. This causes the tree to die slowly. It may take two or three years for the decline to become apparent. By then, it’s too late.
Still, there are ways to tell if emerald ash borers are feeding on your trees:
- Adult EAB leave a D-shaped hole when they break the surface of the bark. The adult version of the insect is small, and a bright, metallic green.
- After an infestation, trees may start to grow new leaves at the base or on the trunk, typically just below the feeding site.
- Look for discolored leaves, dead branches and bark that’s beginning to split. Trees that are infested will usually die from the top down.
- Woodpeckers love to feast on EAB larvae, and will strip away the ash’s bark to get at them.
While there are ways to spot an infestation, your best course of action is early detection and preventive emerald ash borer treatments. This treatment is at its most effective when trees are in good health and show no signs of an EAB attack.
Willow Tree can protect your ash trees from the EAB
If you’re looking for a professional tree service to guard against emerald ash borer infestation in New Jersey, Willow Tree and Landscape can help. Here’s how:
- Our ISA-certified arborists will perform a free property inspection to determine if you have ash trees at risk for infestation.
- We’ll work with you to identify which trees are the most valued and would benefit from emerald ash borer treatment. We determine this by considering the location of the tree, its size, and its health.
- Our arborists can also help you decide which of our three treatment options are appropriate for your trees, and then make sure we’re performing the treatments at the right time, depending on the season and weather conditions.
Willow Tree has more than 30 years’ experience in making sure our clients have properties filled with healthy plant life. Contact us today to learn how we can help protect your trees.