Emerald Ash Borer has killed millions of Ash Trees in the United States since its’ discovery in Michigan in 2002. These insects have been identified in 12 states including Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. New Jersey is surrounded and it is likely that the Emerald Ash Borer will be found in our local Ash Trees soon.
Ash trees are abundant in NJ, representing between 10%-40% of our tree canopy cover in planted and natural areas of our urban forest. Wide spread Ash mortality in New Jersey would have a large negative economic and environmental impact.
Infestations are typically detected once the tree has already started down a path of decline. Research suggests that infestations of over two years most often prove fatal to the tree as the percentage of canopy die-back is too overwhelming for the tree to overcome. Maintaining the health and vigor of Ash trees with good management practices is crucial to enhance the Ashes’ survivability. Pruning, proper mulching, and irrigating are paramount as part of this practice. Additionally, providing critical macro and micro nutrients through sub-surface fertilizing is very important to help keep the trees at an optimum state of health enabling them to better cope with stress. The best management treatments for your Ash trees will vary depending on their current state of health, size, location, and importance to you and your property value.
Bottom line: Consult with your Tamke arborist to make sure your Ash trees are assessed, kept healthy, and a management protocol is ready and in place prior to an EAB infestation.