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Posted on: February 21, 2019

Infestation of Ash Borer Beetle forcing removal of 80 Ash trees

Ash borer beetle

SUMMIT, N.J., February 21, 2019 – The City of Summit is responding to an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle by partnering with JCP&L to remove approximately 80 Ash trees located in city and Union County right-of-ways, and on private property. Removal of Ash trees will begin on Monday, February 25 and continue over the next few months until the threat from the invasive species of beetle has been successfully eradicated.

The Emerald Ash Borer was first found in New Jersey in the spring of 2014 in Somerset County, and since then, has been discovered in eight counties throughout the state, including Union County in 2018.  The beetle has been identified in trees in Summit prompting the removal of 80 of an estimated 350 Ash trees to control the spread of the predatory insect.

“While a significant number of municipalities are choosing to remove all Ash trees as a way to eliminate the Emerald Ash Borer beetle threat, Summit is choosing to treat some trees with pesticides rather than remove our entire Ash Inventory,” explains City Forester John Linson. “Since it would be impossible to eradicate the Emerald Ash Borer with treatment alone, proactively removing Ash trees in partnership with JCP&L is a required next step to control the invasive species infestation.”

Linson continues: “The City of Summit is urging homeowners to take steps to protect healthy Ash trees on private property by contracting with state-certified pesticide applicators to treat trees prior to signs of Emerald Ash Borer beetle infestation. Once infested, removal of affected trees is strongly recommended.”

According to Linson, signs of infestation include canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing 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.

To preserve its tree canopy, the City of Summit will plant 70 trees this spring in the public right-of-way. A list of recommended trees, shrubs and perennials that are indigenous to northern New Jersey and less susceptible to insect damage and disease is available on the city website.

For more information on how to protect ash trees please visit www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov. Residents are encouraged to report signs of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle to the NJ Department of Agriculture at 609-406-6939.

For more information on Ash tree treatment and removal in Summit, contact the Department of Community Services at 908-273-6404.

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