FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Division of Shade Tree is warning residents to be on the lookout for the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle.
“The EAB is a small but very destructive beetle,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, liaison to the division. “EAB beetles attack ash trees exclusively and residents who have ash trees on their property need to be aware of this potential threat. Residents with green or white ash trees should contact an arborist who is a New Jersey Certified Tree Expert or an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist to inspect your tree.”
The EAB beetle is native to China and eastern Asia and is metallic green in color with has a slender body. In May 2014, the state Department of Agriculture confirmed the first detection of EAB in Bridgewater in Somerset County.
“The county’s Shade Tree Division is working with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and has set 23 traps to detect the presence of EAB beetles,” DiMaso said. “To date in the county, there have been no EAB beetles found in Monmouth County, but shade tree will continue to monitor and so should you.”
Homeowners who own ash trees can take the following steps to protect their trees:
- Do not move firewood off of your property. To prevent the spread of the beetle, do not move firewood as the EAB larvae can survive hidden under the bark of firewood.
- Visually inspect your trees. Early symptoms of an infestation might include dead branches near the top of a tree or wild, leafy shoots growing out from its lower trunk.
- Report any signs. If any signs of the EAB beetle is found, call the state Department of Agriculture at 609-406-6939.
Additional information about the EAB beetle is available by visiting www.aphis.usda.gov.