The City of Summit is preparing for a possible infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle from Asia that has attacked and killed tens of millions of Ash trees. The beetle was first found in New Jersey in the spring of 2014 in Somerset County, and since then, has been caught in six counties throughout the state.
The City of Summit is urging homeowners to take steps to protect their trees and control the spread of the beetle. Treatment products are available at local retail establishments and state-certified pesticide applicators can treat for the EAB. Signs of an infestation 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 an S-shaped indentation; D-shaped exit holes; and increased woodpecker activity, creating large holes as they extract the larvae. For more information on how to protect ash trees please visit www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov.
Officials identified firewood as a vehicle for movement of tree-killing forest pests including EAB and the Asian long-horned beetle. As a way to help control the spread of the beetle, the NJ Department of Agriculture recommends using locally-sourced firewood when burning it at home and when travelling, burn firewood where you buy it. Make sure to burn all wood purchased.
The NJ Emerald Ash Borer Task Force (www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov) has agreed upon the following in response to EAB management questions in NJ:
-All ash trees in NJ should be considered at high risk for EAB.
-It is appropriate to begin treatment of high value ash trees throughout NJ now.
-For any questions about treatment methods, we should refer to the "Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer" bulletin on the website (www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov).
-We should recommend that people work with a Certified (Licensed) Tree Expert or Approved Consulting Forester to help them determine whether or not their ash trees are good candidates for a treatment program (vs. removal), and that they should contract a Certified Pesticide Applicator to complete any chemical treatments.
-Any trees determined to be of high safety risk should be removed immediately.
-Any actively infested trees should be cut down and chipped as soon as possible and then left on site (in the municipality).
-For all other ash, it is best to complete removals in the fall and winter. The material must be processed (chipped or de-barked) before emergence (by late April).
-For municipalities, we should recommend triage of the ash resource to spread out ash removals over several years.
Residents are encouraged to report signs of the beetle to the Department of Agriculture at 609-406-6939.