The New Jersey Pinelands are mainly situated in the South Jersey counties, including Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties. Tree care health is not only important to these dense lands, but also to homeowners within urban forests. Arborists are dedicated to preserving both natural lands and individual yard trees. Insects, critters and diseases are factors considered when determining the health of a tree.
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Southern Pine Beetle
The southern pine beetle is a pest that attacks groves of pine trees, typically in a forested setting. In 2010, the insect killed more than 14,000 acres of southern New Jersey pines, according to the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In 2010, South Jersey saw a high increase of beetle infestations. Although this pest can be deadly, catching it early will allow arborists to eliminate the southern pine beetles using an injectable pesticide.
Species of pine trees that are particularly susceptible include pitch, shortleaf, Virginia, white, loblolly and red. If you notice pitch tubes, exit holes, fading crown or S-shaped galleries under the bark, contact your South Jersey arborist professional. Attention to the health of the tree and changes in leaves, bark or growth will help catch the pine beetle before it completely destroys the tree.
Squirrels and Other Critters
Many animals chew on the bark or roots of a tree, which create abrasions where fungi can grow. The damage to leaves and bark can often make a tree look sickly. Rabbits, mice and deer may also render your tree leafless. To protect a tree from these critters, True Value recommends placing wire mesh or chicken wire in a circle around the tree with a six-inch gap between tree and fence.
This technique will not protect the trees from squirrels as they can climb above the fence. To deal with these pests, homeowners may elect to use a squirrel repellant. Keeping critters away from the tree will promote tree health.
Wind, Rain and Snow
Environmental issues may also cause problems with tree health. Cold snow will increase a tree’s stress level and a strong gust of wind during a Nor’easter can rip down limbs and branches. Always remove snow from branches as quickly as possible. True Value also recommends bundling your trees by wrapping them in blankets. Wrapping tree trunks in burlap will prevent cracking during winter months. Secure the strips with twine.