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First Emerald Ash Borer Evidence Found in Vermont

3-5-18 emerald ash borer tunnels commonpence.co2 EABTunnels

It was only a matter of time before Vermont joined New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York as a host of the Emerald Ash Borer in the Northeast. This past week, the first evidence of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation was found in Orange, Vermont, bringing the number of states infected by this beetle to 32.  The consensus is that the range of the Emerald Ash Borer has expanded rapidly due to the transportation of firewood from infested areas. On its own, the Emerald Ash Borer might spread one or two miles annually – far less than has been the case.

Other than seeing the Emerald Ash Borer itself (either the adult or the inner bark-eating larva) you can detect its presence by 1/8-inch-wide, D-shaped holes in ash bark and by S-shaped tunnels under the bark (see photo).

The insect does the most damage in its larval form, when it chews meandering tunnels through the inner bark of an otherwise healthy tree, depriving the tree over time of the means to transport water and nutrients. The Emerald Ash Borer affects all species of ash and once infected, trees usually die within a year or two.

The ash is the third important North American tree to succumb to blight over the last century, following the American Chestnut, and the American Elm. About one percent of ash populations survive infestations; these trees could indicate genetic tolerance which could hold hope for the future.  (Photos: public domain)

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24 responses

  1. E. Patterson

    I hope that the one percent survival rate is true because here in western PA we have lost every ash tree in our county park system. The next forest pest to be concerned about is the Spotted Lantern Fly, not specific to any particular tree, which is what is so worrisome about it.

    March 5, 2018 at 7:49 am

  2. Sandra W. Martin

    Thank you for providing this information. The Nature Discovery Center (formerly known as The Little Nature Museum) now located in Warner, NH, is sponsoring a free program about this insect next Saturday, March 10th, at 1:30 PM at the Pillsbury Free Library, in Warner, NH. It is being presented by foresters from the NH Cooperative Extension. We have an exhibit in the Discovery Center about this invasive insect. Thank you for all the information that you’ve provided.

    Sandra W. Martin, Director/Founder
    Nature Discovery Center

    March 5, 2018 at 8:14 am

  3. teachdad46

    Are there any preventive measures small landowners can reasonable adopt, and are there any other measures one can take if a tree is determined to be infected?

    March 5, 2018 at 8:32 am

  4. Alice Pratt

    Mother Nature is not in balance, if her lovely insects are so destructive…I realize with help from humans.

    March 5, 2018 at 8:37 am

  5. Well, darn it. These photos are very interesting. Amazing to consider that that soft, vulnerable-looking larva has mouthparts that can chew through the inner back and create such extensive damage. (deep sigh…)

    March 5, 2018 at 8:51 am

  6. Ruth Sylvester

    Mary, Could you post (maybe side by side) pix of the EAB and the bright green shiny beetle that one occasionally sees in the garden and is apparently harmless (or not very–I don’t know anything about it except that it’s NOT the EAB)?

    March 5, 2018 at 9:07 am

    • Alice Pratt

      Six Spotted Green Tiger Beetles? Garden Friendly 😁

      March 5, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      • Ruth Sylvester

        Thank you for the name–that enabled me to google some images and see the difference

        March 5, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    • Glad Alice came to the rescue!

      March 5, 2018 at 5:50 pm

  7. Faith Bieler

    Are there any preventions poisons/sprays that can be be used to protect my stand?

    Thanks Mary



    March 5, 2018 at 9:27 am

  8. Kathie Fiveash

    This is so tragic – multiplied a thousand times by the almost countless other invasive species that are depleting the diversity of native species all over the world, and especially in the Western hemisphere. Maybe we will end up with global ecosystems in belts around the earth based on latitude/altitude/climate as opposed to on the long history of evolution on each continent. Or maybe those resistant few will repopulate our forests and other ecosystems, and beat the invaders. That seems the less likely result, but there is hope.

    March 5, 2018 at 10:36 am

  9. Penny Jessop

    The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry just had an email about this, and included a photo of a tree with ” blonding ” done by a woodpecker.
    Readers may want to check it out, as it’s quite noticeable in the woods.

    March 5, 2018 at 10:40 am

    • Kathie Fiveash

      Is blonding connected to the ash borer? Do you have a link to look at this?

      March 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

      • Yes, indeed!

        Woodpecker Damage (from

        One of the first easily noticeable signs of infestation is often the presence of abundant bark flaking and uneven holes drilled by woodpeckers as they feed on EAB larvae and pupa. Please note that this sign is not applicable where woodpeckers are not abundant such as in industrial areas or city centers. Woodpeckers often scrape off the outer flakes of bark in their foraging area creating a “blonde” patch. This blonding is highly visible from a distance, especially when wet. Although bark can be flaked off ash trees by any number of influences, you can distinguish woodpecker foraging by the little dark holes where they have penetrated the bark to remove an EAB larva.

        March 5, 2018 at 5:45 pm

  10. Bill On The Hill...

    Hi Mary… Good to put this out there for sure!
    Here in the highlands of Corinth I sit on 90 acres of land with different densities of tree species spread out over 4 stands. For example, in stand 3 comprising 17 acres I have Sugar Maple at (43%), white ash at (24%), red spruce at (19%) and smaller amounts of paper birch, yellow birch, aspen ( poplar ) and balsam fir.
    Whereas in stand 1 comprising 38 acres & contains my most valuable timber, have a mix of sugar maple at (76%), white ash at (12%) and smaller amounts of American beech, basswood, paper birch, spruce and hophornbeam.
    The Ash Tree is an important part of the overall ecology on my land for it tends to grow faster & often taller than the other trees and they do play a part in keeping under brush and other species of trees in check…
    There is a certain symmetry that takes place amongst trees in the forest, as one specie of tree very much depends on the other species to maintain a harmonious balance…
    Thanks for sharing this Mary.
    Bill Farr…

    March 5, 2018 at 10:55 am

  11. Peter Denis

    You can add Quebec to your list of Emerald Ash Borer affected areas. It is causing much trouble and trees are being removed throughout the Montreal area.

    March 5, 2018 at 11:47 am

  12. Tracy

    I’m a bit confused. The EAB borer caries a fungal disease, too? Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm Disease are fungal? diseases carried by the insect, but the damage from the larval stage of the EAB is what causes the decline, or do they carry a blight, too? I imagine some trees might be able to better withstand the mechanical damage from the borer. We can hope.

    March 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    • Hi Tracy,
      You’re right. I shouldn’t have used the word “blight” as there is no fungus associated with the beetle! It’s purely the larval chewing that interrupts/cuts off xylem and phloem cells.

      March 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm

  13. Jean Clark Townsend

    The butternut may be the fourth most important tree. It was probably the most important to the Native Americans, along with the maple. In our area I believe it was a major source of conflict between natives and settlers because butternuts were an important food source for the Native Americans and grew largely on the banks of rivers which the settlers build next to for other reasons, blocking the Native Americans from collecting the nuts.

    March 6, 2018 at 8:43 pm

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