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9/17/2019 - Hamilton Conducts First-Ever Curbside Tree Inventory to Help Address Invasive Insects that Kill Ash Trees

Hamilton Conducts First-Ever Curbside Tree Inventory to Help Address Invasive Insects that Kill Ash Trees

Since 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer – a beetle native to Asia – has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the United States and Canada according to the New Jersey State Department of Agriculture.

Thanks to a State Community Forestry grant, Hamilton Township will conduct its first-ever comprehensive inventory of its curbside trees to help identify the severity of this issue across town, as well as to provide useful data for future needs.

Since 2017, Hamilton’s Planning Division and its Shade Tree Advisory Commission began investigating grant opportunities to fund efforts to address the issue.  It led Hamilton to securing a $10,000 Community Stewardship Incentive Program grant through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Beginning this month, a State licensed tree expert, Davey Resource Group, will conduct the inventory of trees along Township right-of-way areas (between curbs and sidewalks). Field work for the inventory is expected to take approximately three weeks to be completed. While residents can expect to see Davey Resource Group personnel inspecting curbside trees, the inspectors will not be inspecting trees beyond the sidewalk.

Unfortunately, by the time a tree exhibits physical signs from Emerald ash borer larvae, the tree will typically remain alive for just a few more years. However, with data from the inventory, Hamilton will seek to replace curbside trees that will succumb to the Emerald Ash Borer from dedicated tree replacement funds.

Additionally, considering some of the recent severe storms that impacted our community and may have damaged trees, this inventory will assist in identifying dead or decaying curbside trees, enabling proactive remedial action.

“As a long-standing Tree City USA recipient, this is just another effort that illustrates our community’s concern for our local environment and our curbside shade trees,” says Mayor Kelly Yaede.

Last year, Hamilton celebrated its 13th consecutive Tree City USA Award (for the year of 2018).  The Tree City USA program, which is administered by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, the Urban and Community Forestry Program and the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes communities that demonstrate a commitment to urban forest management efforts. 

“Beyond helping to address any issues resulting from the Emerald Ash Borer, this effort will provide an inventory of all of our hometown’s curbside trees, which will be useful for the planning of future tree planting projects,” says Mayor Yaede.

Residents can learn more about Hamilton’s Shade Tree Commission by visiting: HamiltonNJ.com/ShadeTree