|EAB - Photo: David Cappaert, www.forestryimages.org|
This tiny beetle came from Asia with wood products, first to the Great Lakes region, especially Michigan in the early 2000s. It has destroyed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the Midwest.
Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in New Jersey in May 2014 in Somerset County. Through July 2017, emerald ash borer has been found in New Jersey in Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties.
An affected tree, will start looking bad - thinning out at its crown, leaves turning yellow, shredding bark, woodpecker holes and D-shaped holes where the insects exit. If a tree is at this point, it cannot be saved.
So, what can we do? Very little.
Cutting ash trees down or treating untouched trees with insecticide are the only alternatives. Treatment costs about $200 per tree, and they have to be treated every two years, so, though individual trees can be protected, widespread treatment is cost-prohibitive and impractical.
One of the frightening statistics from the NJ Department of Agriculture is that 99 percent of untreated ash trees in our landscape will eventually become infested and die from EAB.