CRANBURY, NJ – This summer, the Shade Tree Commission (STC) has a big problem with a little extra green in town.

According to a township press release issued Wednesday, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive, tree-killing species that was discovered in New Jersey in 2014 and was found in the township at the end of May.

As the name implies, the green and copper colored insect only targets ash trees and does not harm other tree types, according to STC member Bonnie Larson.

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The NJ EAB Task Force was notified after a resident alerted the STC of the species' presence.

West Windsor Township has a video on its site to explain the problem with the beetles.

With help from NJ EAB Task Force members, and feedback from Township Administrator Denise Marabello and the public, the STC immediately began work on an EAB management plan, according to the release.

An ash tree inventory is currently underway, as an “assessment of the number, location, health and circumference” of ash trees in town is needed to calculate management costs, the release said.

During the inventory process, identification tags may be attached to ash trees.

According to the release, the No Net Loss Reforestation project did not plant ash trees as part of its re-greening efforts.

According to Larson, it is believed that the majority of ash trees in town are located in the Four Seasons development off of Old Trenton Road.

Moving firewood is one way invasive species make their way from place to place, according to the release. Bringing in infested firewood can put local trees at risk, so using native firewood is recommended.

Residents interested in learning more about the Emerald Ash Borer can find additional information at www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov.

The public can also learn more on Wednesday, Sept. 14 during a showing of an educational video about the species at the Cranbury Public Library at 7 p.m.

According to the release, members of the STC will be present at that time to answer questions from the public.

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