Emerald Ash Borer in Vermont

Emerald Ash Borer in Vermont

Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in northern Orange County. This is the first emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation discovered in Vermont. Forestry crews have been dispatched to the area to determine the extent of the infestation. Here is a map of EAB infestations in New England

Emerald ash borer was first discovered in the Detroit, Michigan area in 2002, though it is believed to have arrived in the 1990’s. EAB is now known to be established in 32 states and three Canadian provinces. The beetle is about one half an inch and metallic green. Its larvae tunnel through the wood just under the bark of ash trees; killing the tree by cutting off the flow of nutrients. Healthy ash trees can die within 1-4 years of showing their first sign or symptom. All species of ash trees are susceptible.

What threat does the emerald ash borer pose to Vermont?

5% of Vermont's trees are ash. The majority of ash trees infested with emerald ash borer will die. The emerald ash borer poses a threat to Vermont's economy and ecology. It spreads very quickly, is difficult to detect, and eradication is not expected. 

The emerald ash borer will impact Vermont municipalities. Dead trees may become a public hazard and a liability to the town. Planning ahead can mitigate the impact and financial burden of responding to infestations. The state has assistance available for preparedness planning

What is Vermont doing to respond to this invasive insect?

Federal and state agencies have been working with UVM, industry, and volunteer groups. A response plan is in place and being implemented in a coordinated, collaborative way. 

Delimitation surveys are being carried out. These surveys will indicate whether an in-state quarantine would help protect our ash trees.

Where can I learn more about the emerald ash borer?

Visit the emerald ash borer invader page for more information on identification, signs and symptoms, and biology. 

Visit firewood.vt.gov for more information on how the movement of firewood can spread invasive insects like the emerald ash borer. 

What should I do with ash trees in my yard?

To prevent unnecessary use of insecticides it is critical to know how close EAB is to your property. More information will be available about the extent of the EAB infestation in Vermont once the delimitation survey work is complete. 

What should I do with ash trees in my woods?

For information about managing ash in woodlots and UVA plans, contact your county forester.

Several studies conducted by Michigan State University and USDA Forest Service scientists have shown that EAB beetles are attracted to stressed ash trees. Intentionally girdling trees is a method used for EAB detection. This guide explains how, as a Vermont landowner, you can use trap trees to detect the emerald ash borer.

Landowner Trap Tree Protocol

What can I do to help?

  • Look for signs and symptoms of the emerald ash borer (listed below and slideshow of images).
  • Report suspicious findings on VTinvasives.org.
  • Buy your firewood where you burn it and encourage others to do the same.

 Report it



  • Adult emerald ash borers are 1/4 to 1/2 inches long, narrow and bullet shaped with a flat back.
  • Adults are metallic in color with purple/red metallic abdominal segments beneath their wing covers.
  • Larvae can get up to 3 cm in length and are a creamy white color with no legs.
  • Larvae body is made up of flattened, bell-shaped segments. 
  • Attacks all species of ash trees.


  • Adult beetles emerge in late May/early June
  • Bark splitting 
  • S-shaped tunnels behind outer bark
  • D-shaped exit holes 1/8" wide on bark surface
  • Woodpecker flecking
  • Dead top branches of ash trees
  • Leafy offshoots from the lower trunk of ash trees


Emerald ash borer can be confused with many native insects. Check out these native look-alikes

HOW TO IDENTIFY AN ASH TREEash tree leaves and seeds

In Vermont, we have three species of ash trees: green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), and white ash (Fraxinus americana). Here are some helpful links for ash tree identification:




Photo Credits:

Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Kelly Oten, North Carolina Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org






  • Adult emerald ash borer
    Adult emerald ash borer
  • Woodpecker flecking
    Woodpecker flecking
  • Ash bark split
    Ash bark split
  • Woodpecker flecking
    Woodpecker flecking
  • Emerald ash borer larvae
    Emerald ash borer larvae
  • Woodpecker flecking
    Woodpecker flecking
  • Emerald ash borer larvae
    Emerald ash borer larvae
  • Woodpecker flecking
    Woodpecker flecking
  • D-shaped exit hole
    D-shaped exit hole
  • S-shaped larval gallery
    S-shaped larval gallery