RAHWAY – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari released the following statement yesterday following a tree planting ceremony in Rahway. The ceremony was hosted by the New Jersey Agricultural Secretary Charles M. Kuperus, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell, Mayor James Kennedy, and the Grover Cleveland School as part of an Arbor Day celebration. The new trees will be resistant to the Asian Longhorn Beetles (ALB) which have been devastating the area.
Senator Scutari was the prime sponsor of the bill which, provides $1.3 million in federal funding to remove thousands of trees which have been or could be infested by ALB. This bill was recently signed into law.
“Today we begin to replenish the damaged and vulnerable tree stock in Rahway with new trees that are resistant to the Asian Longhorned Beetle. This will be a long and expensive process, but it is an absolute necessity to stop the spread of the beetles and to replace the trees in the effected areas. Trees are an often overlooked resource that contribute to the health and aesthetic appeal of our neighborhoods.
“Back in October, we first found evidence that the Asian Longhorn Beetles had arrived in our area. The insects began killing the large numbers of certain species of trees in sections of Middlesex and Union counties. In order to stop the infestation, we needed to identify and remove and destroy the infected trees.
“Removing so many trees may seem drastic, but it is imperative. The Asian Longhorned Beetle problem needed to be handled effectively and immediately before the infestation spread throughout the rest of the State, and before the beetles re-emerge this Spring