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Emerald Ash Borer Poses Threat To Township Trees

EAB

The Emerald Ash Borer’s effects are usually seen three to five years after infestation. Photo: NJ Department of Agriculture.

A small green insect, indigenous to Asia, is causing some consternation in the township.

The Emerald Ash Borer is killing Ash trees in Franklin, as well as other parts of Somerset County and in five other New Jersey counties.

The female lays eggs on the trees’s bark which, when they develop into larvae, bore into the tree and interrupt its nutrient flow, according to the state Department of Agriculture web site.

Damage from the insect is usually seen three to five years after initial infestation, according to the site. The insect was first discovered in Franklin Township in 2015, according to the site. Although there are pesticides used to kill the borer, usually the affected trees are removed.

The state agriculture department has placed traps in the township to monitor the insect’s progress.

Members of the township’s Shade Tree Commission discussed the problem at their July 28 meeting. According to one member, the insect is already making its presence known.

“I got a call from a woman who said all of the Ash trees in her development are dying,” commission chairwoman Sara Malone said.

Malone suggested that the commission do what it can to “help people understand what’s going on” by disseminating information on the commission’s web site. The information would mirror that which is available on the state DOA web site.

Based on average Ash tree population in forested areas, she said, there could be as many as 1,169 Ash trees in the township.

“That could be hundreds of thousands of dollars to take the trees down, let alone replace them,” she said.

 

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