On December 22, a team of Boonton Christmas Bird Count (CBC) participants visited Central Park of Morris County, the former Greystone Park property. See a prior post about the park here. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary that day. The park looked like it had during the autumn.
Today, January 11, 2020, was this writer’s first visit to the park since the CBC. The first difference noticed was that most of the fields were mowed. The same cut took place the previous winter. The fields grow back. In fact, the stand of Common Milkweed was outstanding this past summer.
Walking along the path on the West Hanover Ave. side of the park revealed an entirely different scene. Dozens upon dozens of cut ash trees were piled up horizontally on the ground. The photo at the top of this page represents a small section of the ash tree removal procedure. It is the result of the Morris County Park Commissions’s Emerald Ash Borer Response Plan, the content of which can be read here.
According to the county park website, Morris County has the highest density of ash trees in the state of New Jersey. 12,000 trees are already tagged to date. Trees in high use areas will be removed. In select locations, the Morris County Park Commission is utilizing trunk injections of insecticides to protect select ash trees.
The county park web site gives a sense of the Emerald Ash Borer’s destruction: it has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America and is considered to be the most destructive and expensive insect ever to invade the United States.
It seems appropriate to show some woodpecker photos from today. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Downy Woodpecker are from Central Park of Morris County. The Hairy Woodpecker is from a different Central Park in Whippany. Click on the photos for a larger image.
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