VERMONT - Currently, a serious, dangerous and intrusive beetle surrounds all of Vermont’s borders. The Emerald Ash Borer or EAB is a Green Jewel Beetle native to the Asian countries of China, Japan, Korea, and along with the Eastern portions of Russia.
It was first discovered near the city of Detroit during the summer of 2002, and since then this beetle has been spreading rapidly in the United States, killing tens of millions of ash trees in twenty-five states and is expected to reach Vermont soon.
Forestry Specialist, Tess Greaves had this to say in regards to this tree killing bug, “When they get here, we expect them to get here at some point, they kill trees pretty rapidly.”
The effects of this beetle are several according to the Emerald Ash Borer Information Network, from killing hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America, to causing regulatory agencies and the USDA to enforce quarantines and fines to preventing potentially infested ash trees, logs and hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs and finally costing hundreds of millions of dollars to municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries.
Meanwhile, it takes anywhere from two to four years for EAB infested trees to die. The closest infestations are in South-Central portions of New Hampshire, Berkshire County in Massachusetts, New York’s Hudson Valley and just thirty miles north of the Vermont border in Quebec.
“People around us are learning about it, how to monitor for it, how it behaves because it was all new to the United States,” says Greaves.
In other states, log prices have been affected as much by the threat of EAB as by quarantines if the bug reaches Vermont, it will impact local businesses.
The Owner of the Calendar Brook Cabinetry in St. Johnsbury, David Patoine about Ash Trees, “I mean were doing something out of it every year, I mean just in the last month we made two bunk beds for somebody and a couple of dressers and they both had a really dark stain on them, a dark walnut stain on them so you actually would have never known it was ash,” said David Patoine owner of the Calendar Brook Cabinetry in St. Johnsbury.
Mostly likely, the bug arrived into the country through ash wood used for stabilizing cargo in ships or for packing or crating heavy consumer products. How this bug spread throughout our own country, according to Forestry Specialist, Tess Greaves, “It’s moved across the country really rapidly on firewood.”
Since the beginning of May of this year, it became illegal to transport firewood into Vermont from out of state because of the inherent risk of invasive insects. According to the Vermont’s Forest Health Website, “Buy it where you burn it.”
Lastly, if you think you might have EAB, make sure to report it, collect it and photograph any suspected insects. You can reach the National EAB Hotline at 1-866-322-4512.