On February 27, 2018, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Foods & Markets reported that emerald ash borer, an invasive insect from Asia, has been found in northern Orange County, Vermont. We are saddened to share this news, since ash trees are important to Vermont’s forests, towns, and riversides, and comprise 5% of the trees in our state. Yet we are hopeful that with citizen engagement and professional response, we can curb the damage that this insect will inflict on our forests, communities, and businesses.

Here are a few facts you should know and some things to consider:

  • Although the emerald ash borer kills all species of ash trees it infests, trees don’t die immediately.
    • Do not panic. There is time to learn and to act when the time is right.
    • Don’t listen to advice to cut all your ash trees now. Before you do anything, those within the infested area should contact their county forester for advice and to make sure they maintain compliance with the Current Use Program. The insects won’t emerge until May. Find your county forester here.
    • You can help by learning how to detect signs of emerald ash borer, and reporting any potential sightings. Learn more about how to slow the spread of this invasive insect at vtinvasives.org/eab
  • DO NOT MOVE FIREWOOD – Buy or harvest your firewood as close to where you burn it as possible. Moving wood between locations can transport the insect or its larvae, speeding its spread!
  • State and federal agencies are implementing the Emerald Ash Borer Action Plan and will be delineating the extent of the infestation in the coming weeks.
  • If you own VLT-conserved land feel free to reach out to your local VLT forester for information, and please keep VLT updated on your plans.

Photo: David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org