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Posted on: November 29, 2018

Notice to Residents - Threat to Borough trees

Dear Highland Park resident,

I write to advise you about a time-sensitive safety concern regarding our Borough’s trees.  A destructive insect called the Emerald Ash Borer is attacking ash trees throughout New Jersey.  This invasive pest has eliminated the entire ash population everywhere it spreads.  All ash trees are susceptible and will die within five years of infestation.

 Highland Park has identified 73 street trees as ash trees, and our Department of Public Works is already actively involved with their removal. 

If you have an ash tree on your property, now is the time to act!  An untreated ash tree left on your property will inevitably become weak and hazardous as brittle branches drop from the top of the tree.  If an infested tree is left in place, the insect can continue to thrive and infest other trees.  And once the effects of the disease are visible as the crown dies back, removing the tree becomes dramatically more expensive.

There are two possible courses of action.  One is chemical treatment to preserve a valued individual tree, but only if you start while the tree is still healthy.  Professional arborists must apply specific pesticides every two or three years for the life of the tree.

The other approach is to remove the tree.  Ash trees should be removed between November and April.  To remove a tree, you must apply for a permit as usual, but the Borough is waiving the permit fee and also the requirement that you replant or pay for replacement trees.  We strongly encourage residents to plant one or more replacement trees of a different species.

For removal or treatment, please consult a Licensed Tree Expert.  A listing for Middlesex County can be found at www.njtreeexperts.org.

For information on how to identify ash trees and to read more about the Emerald Ash Borer, go to www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov.

Please call the Borough's Public Information Officer, Harry Glazer, at 732-819-3781 for guidance on the process to remove your Ash tree.

Sincerely,

Gayle Brill Mittler, Mayor
Borough of Highland Park
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