Grand Isle, VT – This weekend marks the 99th anniversary of Vermont’s State Parks opening. But for those at Grand Isle State Park, they’ve seen a change that could pose a threat to the safety of campers. In the off-season, park staff removed 2,200 Ash trees throughout the park to prevent them from falling victim to an invasive beetle. 

The Emerald Ash Borer first made its way to the U.S. in 2002 and seeped into Vermont’s Ash trees for the first time in 2018. Since then it has spread rapidly to 13 of the state’s 14 counties, and continues to wreak havoc, especially in Grand Isle. The invasive pest’s presence cuts off the circulation of the Ash tree and is a death sentence for them.

Experts say in some instances it can take years for the symptoms of a beetle inspection to be seen in an Ash tree. But In general, woodpecker activity and sprouts at the base of the tree are telltale signs.  The Emerald Ash Borer is commonly spread across the state with the moving of firewood. That’s why the state is asking Vermonters to keep their firewood local to help stop the beetle’s spread.  

If you see any signs of damage caused by the beetle, contact Vermont’s Department of Forests.