Updates and Alerts

County Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone announces County tree as oak

 Be on the lookout for the emerald ash borer beetle

This fall, if you are outside doing yard work and trimming or cutting trees, be on the lookout for the emerald ash borer beetle (EAB).

The EAB is a small but very destructive beetle. 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 a slender body. In May 2014, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture confirmed the first detection of EAB in Bridgewater in Somerset County, NJ.


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 New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-406-6939.

For more information about the EAB beetle, go to www.aphis.usda.gov.

Spring Time Chores

Spring time is upon us now and it’s time to clean the yard, the flower beds and get the vegetable garden ready for planting and sowing.  Suggestions of priorities are as follows:

1) Soil tests – By testing your soil now, results will be mailed to you and there will be time to correct any situation that may present itself. Remember to gather soil samples from various locations for turf management and gather enough soil for the laboratory to use and have extra, just in case. Place your quart size samples in a clean zip-lock bag and label it from which area of the property it was from. Soil test kits are available from Rutgers Cooperative Extension or your local feed and fertilizer supplier.

2) Some things to consider are; 

a. Was fungus present on your roses, dogwoods or in your mulch? If there was a presence of the “fungus amoungus”, then it is imperative that the leaves and the mulch from the prior year be removed from under and around the plants. Replace with fresh mulch or another weed or protective barrier and keep a sharp eye out for new signs of fungi spores.

b. Did invasive grasses and weeds make their mark in the beds? The use of pre-emergent or cloth barriers should be considered and aggressive measures taken to control these pests.
c. Speaking of pests, do you remember a particular bug that “bugged” you last year? This may be the time to take control of your garden. Natural native predators are available if you prefer, but some chemical controls could be applied in early spring for control. A local licensed Commercial Applicator can advise you of the best control and preventative methods.

3) Look for winter damage on trees and shrubs. Prune out any hazardous or damaged branches. Replacement of dead material and planning a new landscape at this time is good, because the nurseries are getting new stock and with this economy, prices are sure to be fair.

Take a look around your property and assess work that needs to be addressed and plan for the warmer weather that’s about to come upon us.

To report any sightings of the Asian Longhorn Beetle, call 1-866-Beetle1 or contact our office at 732-431-7903  

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