The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that is wreaking havoc on Ash trees. Once infected a tree has approximately 5 years until its demise. It was first reported in the Mid West and now has arrived in Vermont. Cases of infestation have been confirmed in Plainfield. CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE ON EAB FOUND IN VT
The beetle lays larvae under the bark of the tree, often towards the canopy. The hatched insect girdles the underside of the tree leaving tan-like light brown patches on the exterior (referred to as ‘blonding’.) Infected trees become a hazard as they dry out and become unstable. Infestations are difficult to spot and hard to manage. In addition to the blonding of the bark an increase in woodpecker activity could be an indicator of the problem. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT EAB
Plainfield is in the midst of devising a policy. Some municipalities take the approach of felling ALL trees while others closely monitor their forests. The Selectboard has decided to assess the situation by working with Joanne Garton, Special Projects Coordinator at the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. She will lead an effort to establish how many ash trees are in our town right of way.
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources working with The Urban Community Forest Program, Forest Parks & Recreation, The University of Vermont Extension and ANR’s GIS program has created a mapping program. This program can be accessed via smart phone or a tablet devise. It requires visually assessing the trees and taking measurements. Joanne spent the morning training Maple Hill Community School students and faculty on how to use the mapping program.
Once the number, and general size, of the various ash trees is know, the Selectboard will be able to formulate policy. The survey is still ongoing. If anyone would like to participate please contact Joanne, Joanne.Garton@vermont.gov . She will not be able to meet individually but can provide information on how to use the electronic mapping app.
Thanks to Joanne Garton of Vermont Urban & Community Forest Programs. Joe Astick and the many students and faculty of the Maple Hill Community School , Selectboard Chair Sasha Thayer of the The Town of Plainfield Selectboard. And Sarah Albert of the Town of Plainfield Conservation Commission.