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Nearby invasive infestation leaves Morristown & Morrisville saying 'No' to new Ash Trees

New cases of emerald ash borer have arisen in two new Vermont counties. Just last month it was first detected in Orange County, this week Caledonia and Washington counties have been added to the list. 

In nearby Lamoille County, Todd Thomas the planning director for Morristown and Morrisville is unsettled. He recalls first learning about this insect, two years ago. 

"I am not feeling good about what's going to happen to ash trees. As a planner I look 20, 30, 50 years in the future," said Thomas.

According to Vermont's entomologist Judy Rosovsky, it was inevitable that this beetle would arrive. It was already found in neighboring states, including an infested area south of Montreal. They are killing the ash tree.

"Larval tunnels, that ends up killing the trees. They are basically cutting off the circulation, of the tree. You can't get the material (nutrients) you need from the roots to the crown," said Rosovsky.

With the boots on the ground, surveying is the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation.

"Looking very closely up the trunk of the tree, and some of the major branches. Looking for various symptoms that might indicate emerald ash borer infestation," said Kathy Decker a forestry operations manager with the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation.

Symptoms of an infestation are what Rosovsky calls 'ash blonding', along with many woodpecker holes. Woodpeckers are likely targeting these trees for a fresh meal of larvae.

The four towns currently with an infestation are, Barre Town, Groton, Orange, and Plainfield.

According to Rosovsky, there isn't a quick fix for this either. It's a process that will take a while, and there is no guarantee it will be removed from the Vermont landscape.

That is why Thomas is being proactive.

"If I get a site plan that has an ash tree, as the planting tree, I am going to submit a request for an alternate tree. I am going to say give me a honey locust," said Thomas.

He also notes that it would be irresponsible to continue to plant ash trees under the given circumstances. Plus, infested trees are safety issues. 

"Once those trees are infested they will have to come down, we will have to make sure they come down before the fall down on the road," he said.

If you would like to report an issue, you can do so here.

 

 


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