Dummerston prepares for invasive insect - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dummerston prepares for invasive insect

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The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has been found in every state that borders Vermont and towns have begun preparing for the pesky beetle's unwanted arrival.

Lynn Levine from the Dummerston Conservation Commission knows trees well. She recently made it her mission to map out one type of tree in particular, the ash tree, which could be in harm’s way.

"We weren't looking for all the ash trees in Dummerston. We were looking for the ones that the town has responsibility for," said Levine.

The reason is a tiny little green beetle called the emerald ash borer. The insect chews its way through the tree's core and kills it from the inside out. While the emerald ash borer has not been identified in the Green Mountain State, it has been located in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and even north of the border in Canada. Levine says while she remains optimistic, she fears for the worst.

"It's takes three or four years for the signs to really show that's what's happening. It has probably got to be here but we just all need to be very aware," said Levine.

The Dummerston Conservation Commission identified 540 ash trees near main roads throughout the town. All of them have been marked on a map with little dots. The mapping project was made possible through a $500 grant from UVM. A "readiness report" has been submitted to the town select board.

"It really needs to get attention so it is really about spreading the word about one of the important issues that involve forestry of the many that exist," said Levine.

Levine with the help of others is tracking trees and the invasive beetles that prey on them.

Of course the ash borer is only one of several invasive pests threatening Vermont forests. For a complete list and how to report click here.

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