ACT: Ash Crisis Team
Over one million trees in our beautiful Sourland forest will die within the next few years. That’s twenty percent of all trees – in our gorgeous public parks and preserves, in our yard and probably in yours.
The emerald ash borer is on track to kill every last ash tree. The state has released parasitic wasps to target these pests and allow the next generation of ash to survive, but they will not be able to save this generation.
We know that the Sourland forest’s understory is degraded. Tree saplings are not in place to fill in the gaps, mainly due to the excess population of deer that has decimated sapling trees. When the canopy opens and sunlight reaches the forest floor, invasive species like autumn olive, barberry and multiflora rose thrive. Native plants and animals, whose numbers are already in decline, are struggling to survive. Development, deer browse, disease, and invasive species are all to blame.
If you’re not already treating every ash tree – and continuing to do so – it will almost certainly perish. In some areas (including Baldpate Mountain), the total tree loss will be much higher. This will be devastating – to all of the humans and animals who depend on the forest to provide clean water, food, and shelter.
How you can help
- Plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers in your own yard.
- Reduce your lawn size, protect “volunteer” seedlings from deer browse, and plant more!
- Planting is fun! If you don’t have room to plant at home, come plant with us!
Forest Threats by NJ Forest Service
Hunterdon Land Trust Ash Restoration
How to plant a tree sapling
Taking care of your tree sapling