FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 19, 2019
Emilie Inoue, State Pest Survey Coordinator
VT Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
Barbara Schultz, Forest Health Program Manager
VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Addison County
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed that insects collected from ash trees in Bristol, VT are larvae of the emerald ash borer (EAB). This is the first detection in Addison County. This invasive insect was first discovered in Vermont in February 2018, and has also been confirmed in Orange, Washington, Caledonia, Bennington, and Grand Isle counties.
Landowners and other residents of Bristol and surrounding towns are urged to look for signs and symptoms of the insect and report suspicious findings on vtinvasives.org. Detailed information about the pest and what to look for may be found at the same website.
Although it may be hard to see, EAB is likely to be present in other locations within ten miles of known infestations. Around Bristol, this area also includes New Haven, Waltham, Buels Gore and Vergennes, parts of Monkton, Starksboro, Lincoln, Middlebury, Weybridge, Ferrisburgh, and Ripton, and smaller areas of Warren, Fayston, Addison, Panton, Huntington, Granville and Hinesburg. Moving any infested material, especially ash firewood, logs, and pruning debris, can quickly expand the infestation, so it is critical Vermonters follow the ‘slow-the-spread’ recommendations, available at https://vtinvasives.org/land/emerald-ash-borer-vermont/slow-spread-of-eab. One important recommendation is to obtain firewood locally when camping and for home heating.
EAB larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves water and sugars up and down the trunk. It was first discovered in North America in the Detroit area in 2002, and over the past seventeen years it has decimated ash populations. EAB is known to occur in 35 states and five Canadian provinces.
EAB threatens all three ash species that grow in Vermont: white ash, green ash and black ash. Each of these species has an important niche in the forest community, and EAB will have significant ecological, cultural, and economic impacts. Ash trees comprise approximately 5% of Vermont forests, are a very common urban tree, and help regulate water levels in forested wetlands.
State and federal agencies continue to conduct surveys to determine the extent of Vermont’s EAB infestations. Volunteer Forest Pest First Detectors are assisting with some of these efforts.
Find more EAB information at vtinvasives.org including:
- The current map of the infested zone
- How to identify ash trees
- Resources for homeowners, forest landowners, and municipalities