New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials confirmed that the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that attacks and kills ash trees, has been found in Somerset County. Samples were confirmed by the US Dept. of Agriculture.
First discovered in Michigan in 2002, EAB is now present in 23 states and 2 Canadian provinces and has killed tens of millions of trees.
The state will now survey trees in the area surrounding the initial find to determine the extent of the EAB infestation. It is expected that a federal quarantine will be expanded to include New Jersey.
The adult emerald ash borer is a metallic green insect about one-half inch long and one-eighth inch wide, making it difficult to detect in the wild. Female beetles lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. The eggs hatch and the larvae bore into the bark to the vascular system underneath. The larvae feed and develop, cutting off the flow of nutrients and, eventually killing the tree. EAB attacks and kills North American species of true ash, and tree death occurs 3-5 years following the initial infestation.
Signs of EAB include:
- Canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing through the year until the tree is bare
- Sprouts growing from the roots and trunk
- Split bark with S-shaped galleries below
- D-shaped exit holes
- Increased woodpecker activity, creating large holes as they extract larvae
What can I do for my trees?
Statile & Todd and Peters-Todd’s Inc. has been working closely with researchers and chemical company representatives to put together the best programs to keep our clients’ trees protected. Treatments are best done preventively. Chances of survival are greatly reduced once the insects get into the tree. We are currently finalizing our program and will begin to implement our treatments shortly. Most treatments afford either one or two years of protection, therefore, this will need to be repeated on a proper schedule to ensure adequate protection. We will be measuring trees and putting together proposals for high profile ash trees throughout the main living areas of our clients’ properties. If you’ve got ash trees that you want to protect, call us now. For those clients with wooded properties, contact us and we’ll help to come up with the best management plan for your property and budget. If you have any questions about your ash trees or EAB, please give us a call.
To prevent the spread of the beetle, DO NOT MOVE FIREWOOD! Firewood is a vehicle for movement of tree-killing forest pests including EAB and Asian longhorned beetle. Use locally-sourced firewood when burning at home or travelling. When travelling, either use all wood purchased or leave the unused portion behind.
What if we don’t do anything?
Ash Trees are at High Risk
2022 has been a turning point in EAB detection. Over the winter, we’ve seen trees seemingly transformed before our eyes. To learn more about the signs of EAB, and the “blonding” we’re experiencing read this blog on our sister website, Peters Todd’s.