Insects that kill trees in NJ

Insects That Kill New Jersey Trees

As a licensed New Jersey Tree Care operator, Brennan’s Tree Service sees the a lot insect tree damage done by invasive insects here in Morris, Essex and Union counties. There are hundreds of insects and diseases that kill trees in New Jersey. But the most dangerous, are pests and diseases that are not native to New Jersey and that were introduced here. Yes, our trees are dying in NJ.

Without natural predators, these tree killing insects invade, reproduce and thrive here in the Garden State.

Insect tree damage in New Jersey is becoming a major issue with homeowners. Not just state forest managers.

The latest invader of our trees here in New Jersey is the Spotted Lanternfly.

Spotted Lanternfly in New Jersey Invasive insect species
Spotted Lantern Fly Brennan’s Tree Service

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF)

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that kills some trees and continues to kill off crops like wine grapes, has increased by 1300% in New Jersey in the last year. The upward growth curve for the Spotted Lanternfly population spread is increase in New Jersey.

They were first spotted in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014 and appeared in New Jersey by 2018.

The Spotted Lanternfly kills over 70 different plant species, including fruit trees, ornamental trees, woody trees, vegetables, herbs and vines.

SLF feeds on plants using their sucking and piercing mouth parts to pull out plant sap. This feeding creates weeping wounds on the trees.

This invasive insect is introduced mostly from campers and firewood. To get your checklist to stop the spread, click the link below.

Spotted Lanternfly Checklist.

If you see the Spotted Lanternfly on your property it is advised to call the tip line below or click the link below to find out more.

Spotted Lanternfly Information in New Jersey. Or Call 833-223-2840

Let’s See What Else is Eating Your Trees in New Jersey.

EAB (Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The first insect on our list that has killed millions of trees is the EAB (Emerald Ash Borer).

First discovered in Bridgewater, New Jersey in 2014, this destructive and invasive beetle, the emerald ash borer, has killed 50+ million ash trees, including both white and green ash trees. The entire state has seen damage from this beetle and its larvae.

Signs of EAB infestation are the telltale sign of the D-shaped exit holes. If you have woodpeckers, pecking at your ash trees, chances are good, you have Emerald Ash Borers.

In fact, Morris County, New Jersey is spending $57 million on tree removal because of the Emerald Ash Borer. So, the damage is real and real expensive.

However, homeowners are stuck with paying for their own tree removals cause by EAB. If you are experiencing Emerald Ash Borer on your trees in Essex, Union or Morris counties call Brennan’s Tree Service, we are here to for your tree care needs.

The next insect that eats our trees here in New Jersey is also an invasive species, even though it has been around since the 1960’s here in the Garden State and we have all seen. Their sign of the whitish-gray web on our trees with worm like creatures wiggling around inside. The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar.

Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

The gypsy moth caterpillar (From Europe) is a ravenous creature. It is the greatest threat to New Jersey’s trees. The first case was in Morris County.  The Gypsy Moth whose eggs typically begin hatching in late April kills thousands of acres of trees every year.

When the caterpillars hatch, they will feed on trees the entire summer. They can eat at such a pace that they can kill an oak tree in just three years. They also attach conifer trees (Spruce, Pine & Fir) and in just one year can kill them.

If suspect or see the above two insects, give us a call a Brennan’s Tree Service. We will kill and remove these invasive insects properly. At the time any damage to your trees will be removed to keep you trees healthy.

Just like with our, health, early detection and prevention is key to good health after.

Let’s look at the next thing that is making trees die in New Jersey.

Southern Pine Beetle killing New Jersey Trees.
Southern Pine Beetle

Southern Pine Beetle

This rapidly moving pine beetle attacks pine trees. Moving through South Jersey where, and into the central and northern part of the state.  In 2010, more than 14,000 acres of pines were killed due to Southern Pine Beetle.

The beetle attacks all types of pine trees. And the Pinelands of New Jersey were hit hard. It will attack and kill homeowners pine trees and it will kill the tree fast.

Signs of infestation include pitch tubes, exit holes, fading crown, S-shaped galleries under bark.

Insects that kill NJ trees

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

This small aphid-like creature (From Europe) likes to attack the hemlock tree. It feeds on the sap from the tree’s branches and twigs. But, the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid is also known to attack spruces.  

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid have been around a while and has basically affected all our stands of hemlocks found in the northern part of the Garden State.

This insect has infested tens of thousands of acres of New Jersey’s Hemlock stands. Signs of infestation include egg masses, dying, branches and limbs.

Eastern Pine Looper

The eastern pine looper affects pine trees mostly in New Jersey’s central counties. It hibernates itself in the ground below the trees it feeds on. Then in late April, through June it emerges to lay eggs on the needles of the tree. When they hatch, they feast on the needles of the Pine tree.

Signs of infestation include brown needles and defoliation.

Beech Bark Disease

Beech bark disease is a fungus found in North Jersey that invades through bark wounds created by aphid-like insects. The American Beech and the European Beech are the trees effected by this insect cause tree disease.

Signs of infestation include sparse foliage, woolly scales, ooze on the trunk, small red fungal fruiting bodies.

Sawfly killing trees in NJ
Sawfly larvae, eating leaves of an oak tree.

Scarlet Oak Sawfly or Oak Slug

The scarlet oak sawfly, also known as the oak slug, kills red and white oak trees. It makes the tree leaves look like leaf skeletons.  Heave infested trees may become completely skeletonized and soon die as a result.

Signs of infestation include skeletonized or transparent leaves, defoliation starting in upper crown or larvae feeding on leaves.

If you are in need of tree care services, make sure the company you call is a licensed tree care operator in New Jersey with the insect damage citation.