Warning: Emerald Ash Borer is spreading.
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials today reported that the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees, is active in five towns in three counties.
Municipal officials and residents of Bridgewater and Hillsborough in Somerset County, Westampton in Burlington County and Ewing and West Windsor in Mercer County are encouraged to tree care professional to learn how to protect their ash trees or what to do with dead or dying trees.
“Emerald ash borer is a fast-moving, highly destructive invasive pest, which could lead to the death of ash trees,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Now that the beetle is in New Jersey and is starting to spread, we ask that towns put plans in place to respond to the beetle.”
Emerald ash borer was first discovered in New Jersey in May 2014 by a private citizen in Bridgewater. EAB is now present in 25 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and has since killed tens of millions of trees.
The adult emerald ash borer is a metallic green insect about one-half inch long and one-eighth inch wide making it hard to detect in the wild. The female beetles lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. The eggs hatch and the larvae bore into the bark to the fluid-conducting vessels underneath. The larvae feed and develop, cutting off the flow of nutrients and, eventually killing the tree. EAB attacks and kills North American species of true ash, and tree death occurs three to five years following initial infestation. EAB is native to Asia.