Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic, invasive pest from Asia that is killing ash trees in over 25 states including New Jersey. Since its discovery in Detroit, Michigan in 2002, the borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees.
As of 2015, Paramus’ Ash tree street tree survey showed that approximately 2,841 (9.5 %) of the municipalities 30,000 street trees are ash. There are also ash trees in parks, in wooded areas, wetland and transition areas, and private property which were not counted or surveyed. The borough of Paramus must prepare and manage for the arrival of this pest and its impacts on ash trees in Paramus.
By implementing the provisions in this management plan, the Borough of Paramus will take a proactive approach to mitigate the disruption of its urban forest caused by the anticipated infestation of the EAB. Taking a proactive approach will enable the municipality to address public and private needs in an efficient and effective manner.
The goals of this plan are to:
- Protect and treat valuable ash trees within the municipality
- Remove hazardous ash tree to protect public safety
- Replant non-host tree to replace those removed
Administration of Plan
The following elements of Paramus’ EAB management plan have been adopted, and are subject to periodic revision as new information about the EAB is available. This plan is also subject to change should state or federal policies dictate. The Paramus Shade Tree & Parks Commission (ST&PC) will be responsible for implementing and following up on the provisions of this plan. This EAB Management Plan will supplement Paramus’ current NJ Community Forestry Management Plan.
The Mayor, Borough Administrator, Borough Council, department heads, and the ST&PC will receive periodic updates through standard channels. All media relations will follow standard municipal approval and protocol.
Paramus ST&PC will implement a combination of the following management options: Options A & B (See Appendix A), Selective Management and Aggressive Management. High value, significant, healthy ash trees will be chemically treated to protect them from EAB infestation and for legacy tree retention. Ash trees that pose a risk, are in decline, or are planted in inappropriate locations will be prioritized for removal and replacement.
The Department will not dispose of any wood outside the quarantine area except at approved sites. The entire state of NJ has been placed under EAB quarantine, under US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and NJ Department of Agriculture regulations. Movement of ash products (including firewood, nursery stock, logs) outside of the state boundaries is restricted, unless a Compliance Agreement from USDA AHPIS is received. However, to minimize the continual spread of EAB to non-infested portions of the state, ash trees that are removed will be kept within municipal limits unless it is chipped or the bark is removed.
The Department will make every effort to utilize the ash trees to its greatest value. Ash is commonly used for firewood. The quality of ash wood does not degrade immediately after infestation by EAB, as the insect feeds on the wood tissue just under the bark. However, ash wood will begin to degrade soon after it is killed by EAB, so any wood utilization efforts will be made prior to, or soon after the onset of tree death. Ash chips will be used to mulch parks and limbs greater than 19” (nineteen inches) will be split to fireplace size by the DPW and made available to the residents of Paramus.
As budget, time and staffing permit, ash trees removed will be replaced with non-host specific species that will enhance the planting sites, are appropriate for the planting sites, and add diversity. Trees will be planted in accordance with the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association Planting Specifications and be no smaller than 1.5” – 2.0” caliper. All new plantings will conform to the “10-20-30” tree species diversity rule – no more than 10% any species of tree, 20% of any genera of tree, or 30% of any one family of tree.
Trees on Private Property
Property owners are urged to monitor for EAB on their property. The decision to treat, remove, or retain private property trees rests with the property owner. Residents should consider many variables when evaluating options, including tree size, location, and condition. Residents can contact the ST&PC for more information. Private trees that are a threat to private property will be inspected only as complaints are received. When private property owners are hiring for insecticide control or tree removal they are encouraged to contact a Licensed Tree Expert (LTE) or a Licensed Tree Care Operator (LTCO) with a Certified Pesticide Applicators License. Paramus also encourages residents to replace trees lost with species appropriate for the site, or to plant new trees in advance of EAB infestation and ash removal.
Outreach efforts to increase awareness of EAB in Paramus will be made at various events including Arbor Day, Earth Day, and others as they arise.
Contacts and Information:
Ash Management Options
Option A. Selective Management
High-value ash trees in selected areas (streets and parks) within the community will be managed actively, whereas those in other areas (e.g. woodlots) will be left alone. Ash trees will be monitored for their health and levels of EAB infestation. Chemical control and tree removal will be applied wherever appropriate in a cost-effective manner. Tree replacement (1:1 or 2:1) will be prioritized towards community needs. As a result, most ash trees in the natural areas will be killed by the end of the infestation, whereas a great portion of high-value ash street trees are protected for future generations to enjoy. In addition, dead or dying ash trees in streets and parks will be replaced with non-host species to prevent major canopy gaps in neighborhoods.
Option B. Aggressive Management
Borough of Paramus street and park ash trees will be managed actively with all available management tools. EAB survey activities will be carried out on both roadways, and parks. Information from the surveys will be used to determine proper management actions across the Municipality. Chemical control will be actively pursued to protect the maximum portion of ash trees and their canopy. Dead or dying ash trees will be replaced with non-host species. As a result, most high value ash trees will be saved from EAB damage. Community suffers the least socially and environmentally from the infestation, with less risk of losing urban canopy cover.
Appendix B *
Ash Action Sequence
All ash street trees will be monitored on a regular basis especially in the spring of each year after leaf-out. Tree removal will be based upon the following:
100% defoliated (dead) Priority 1
<20% foliage Priority 2
20% - 50% foliage Priority 3
50% - 70% foliage Priority 4
70% - 90% foliage Priority 5
>90% foliage (treated) Priority 6 (continue to treat & monitor)
Ash trees that have been treated in 2018 will be retreated in even years and ash trees that were treated in 2019 will be treated in odd years.
Based upon the number of trees to be removed in the Priority 1- Priority 3 groups all trees will be:
1st limbed to just a stalk
2nd stalk removed
3rd stump ground
** Should the number of removals based upon condition reach a back log then the following will apply:
1st all limbs will be removed to make the tree safe
2nd the stalk will remain until staffing and time permits to remove them
3rd stump ground after stalk removed
4th tree planted after stump removal based upon season and funding
Stalks and stumps will be removed and ground based upon the order they were left standing, oldest ones first.