Hearing on ash borer Tuesday at Vets' Home

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BENNINGTON — Prompted by the discovery of an emerald ash borer beetle in Stamford, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and UVM Extension will be presenting a public information meeting on slowing the spread of the pest on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Vermont Veterans Home.



According to state officials, the emerald ash borer threatens white ash, green ash and black ash in Vermont and could have significant ecological and economic impacts. There are no proven means to control EAB in forested areas, though individual trees can sometimes be effectively treated.



The larvae of the emerald ash borer kill ash trees buy 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 sixteen years has decimated ash populations. Ash trees comprise approximately 5 percent of Vermont forests and are also a very common and important urban tree.



Earlier this month, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, the federal USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service alerted state officials that an emerald ash borer was captured on a purple detection trap in Stamford, within five miles of a location in North Adams, Mass., where the insect had been recently found. The emerald ash borer has also been confirmed in Orange, Washington and Caldedonia counties in Vermont.



According to the state, the beetle is likely to be present in other locations within ten miles of known infestations. In southwestern Vermont, this includes all of Stamford and Readsboro, as well as parts of Pownal, Woodford, Bennington, Searsburg, Whitingham and Wilmington.



Moving any infested material, especially ash firewood, logs, and pruning debris, can quickly expand the infestation, so state officials are strongly urging Vermonters to follow the recommendations available at vtinvasives.org/land/emerald-ash-borer-vermont. One key recommendation is to buy only local firewood."Slowing the spread of EAB is very important," Shelly Stiles, district manager for the Bennington County Conservation District, said in a release. "While adult EAB are capable of flying short distances, humans have accelerated spread by moving infested material, particularly firewood, long distances. Residents and visitors are reminded to protect Vermont's forests by buying and burning local firewood."



The public meeting will cover information about the emerald ash borer, the impacts of the firewood quarantine, recommendations for slowing the insect's spread, and implications for the forest industry and municipalities. Town officials, forest owners, and the general public are all welcome.



The meeting will be held in the Vermont Community Room of the Vermont Veterans Home at 325 North St., Bennington.



For more information, contact Stiles at 802 442-2275 or bccd@sover.net.



The presentation will be broadcast on CAT TV.



— Banner staff


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