Highland Lakes

Country Club and Community Association

Endangered Ash Trees Require Attention

Learn everything you’ll need to know about the insect that is infesting our ash trees at a Zoom meeting hosted by Bartlett Tree Experts on April 13 at 7:00PM. There is no cost for you to attend this meeting, but there is a lot you will gain.  Use this link to join us on the night of the presentation.

Why You Should Attend

If you haven’t heard about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) yet, let us fill you in on some news you will want to know about. The EAB is a beetle that has a one year life cycle. Female beetles feed off of ash leaves and deposit eggs in the crevices and flaps found on the bark of these trees. Once the egg matures, larvae burrow under the bark and feed on the cambium, which is the part of the tree that is essential to transporting water and nutrients. The larvae become adult beetles in April or May and begin the cycle anew. If left untreated, the ash tree cannot survive more than 3-4 years and 99 percent of ash trees will die.

The beetle, which was first found in southeastern Michigan, has finally made its way to northwestern NJ and Highland Lakes and now we as a Club and as property owners have some decisions to make. If caught early enough the tree can often be saved if it is treated by a certified tree expert over the course of an indefinite number of years (injections are made to the base of the tree every other year). If you choose not to treat the infected ash tree, it is recommended that you remove it. Experts agree that to do nothing could end up being the costliest decision in the long run. Once the tree dies, you risk it falling on your home/property or someone else’s and of course there is a possibility that limbs and trees could actually fall on people or pets without warning. No one wants that.

You may be tempted to try to treat the tree yourself by buying over-the-counter chemicals at Home Depot or some other landscaping merchant. Not only will these chemicals NOT eradicate the problem, they are highly toxic and could get into our lakes and streams and do serious damage. The chemicals that will do the job can only be purchased by a licensed arborist.

The HL Board has already been working this problem. Our common property has been surveyed by Bartlett Tree Experts. Some trees will receive treatment and will be saved. Others, regrettably will be taken down for the safety and good of the community. Trees that are saved are younger trees that still are healthy enough to respond to the treatment. Older trees which are reaching the end of their lifespan and trees that have been identified as being too far along to be saved will be removed this spring.

Homeowners need to know the state of ash trees on their own property and must make a deliberate plan. Here is what needs to be done:

  1. Educate yourself by attending the Zoom meeting on April 13.
  2. You need to contact a local tree expert for proper identification of ash trees on your property and get their recommendation on which trees can be saved and which should be removed.
  3. Take action!

Learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer.

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