On May 12, 2021

Awareness week spotlights the emerald ash borer

May 15-22 —  VIRTUAL — Several activities are planned in Vermont for Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, May 15-22, to help increase public understanding of an invasive forest pest that has destroyed millions of acres of ash trees in the country.

“Across the Fence,” the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension farm, home and community show on WCAX-TV, will devote an episode to how some municipalities are preparing for the impact of this pest on local ash trees. The show is scheduled for May 17 at 12:10 p.m. and will be archived for future viewing at uvm.edu/extension/atfence after it airs.

By Debbie Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The emerald ash borer, a destructive forest pest, has been reported in 12 of Vermont’s 13 counties. Know what to look for.

In addition, anyone may submit a story, drawing, photograph or poem about an ash tree or ash product at ash@vlt.org or view others’ contributions at vlt.org/ash. Interested individuals also may sign up to become a Forest Pest First Detector to help monitor and plan for invasive insects in their community by contacting Ginger Nickerson, UVM Extension forest pest educator, at ginger.nickerson@uvm.edu.

Vermonters are encouraged to get involved by participating in an informational webinar, organizing a neighborhood ash tree tagging event or other COVID-safe community activity and posting on social media or Front Porch Forum during the month of May. Free webinars are planned for May 19, 7-8:30 p.m., on Black Ash: Research and Cultural Practices in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer, and on May 20, 1-2 p.m., the Emerald Ash Borer in Vermont: Current Status and State Response. For details, visit vtcommunityforestry.org/news/events.

Several Vermont communities will be tagging local ash trees and hosting other Covid-safe activities in May. Among them are Braintree, Georgia, Guilford, Huntington Sharon, Tinmouth, Williamstown, Windsor, Woodstock and towns in Grand Isle County.

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is hosted by UVM Extension; the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets; the Vermont Land Trust; and Vermont’s Forest Pest First Detectors.

For more information visit go.uvm.edu/eabpests or contact Ginger Nickerson at ginger.nickerson@uvm.edu.

Want to learn more about the emerald ash borer?

Information on the emerald ash borer, ash tree identification and how to conduct a neighborhood tree tagging campaign can be found in the Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Toolkit (go.uvm.edu/eab-toolkit). This resource also contains videos, posters, sample social media posts and resources for educators. In addition, the Vermont Invasives website (VTinvasives.org) has information on the signs and symptoms of infested ash trees, the latest map of reported sightings and a link to sign up for the EAB Update Listserv to receive information about this pest as it becomes available. To date, this wood-boring beetle has been found in 12 Vermont counties. It was first reported in Orange County in 2018.

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