Invasives in the News

May 25, 2022

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) Lakes and Ponds Aquatic Invasive Species Program is excited to launch a brand-new community science project this summer, 2022 called the Vermont Invasive Patrollers for Animals Program

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May 19, 2022

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation is spearheading a few projects geared towards tracking the phenology of invasive plants and we need your help!

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May 19, 2022

Do you want to get involved in locating Tree-of-Heaven in Vermont? Now is your chance! Tree-of-Heaven is a preferred host for the Spotted Lanternfly. The presence of these two invasive species in Vermont could have detrimental impacts on many tree species, including apple trees, sugar maples, and more.

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March 24, 2022

Phenology is the study of the life cycle events of living things – like tracking when plants get their leaves, their flowers, and their fruits. Knowing this information gives us a better understanding of the species in our ecosystems, can guide the timing of our invasive plant management work, and can help us track the impacts of climate change on plants in Vermont. In 2022, The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation is spearheading a few projects geared towards tracking the phenology of invasive plants and we need your help!

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March 23, 2022

At first glance, the spongy moth and the recent invader the spotted lanternfly (whose Latin name is Lycorma delicatula) would not appear to have much in common. The spongy moth, Lymantria dispar, is a moth. Moths fall under the insect order Lepidoptera, the moths and butterflies, and are characterized by scaly wings and a long tongue. The spotted lanternfly may look like a moth, but a closer glance at their mouthparts reveals them as true bugs, in the insect order Hemiptera. This group of insects is characterized by sucking-piercing mouthparts that look like a long straw running along the underside of their bodies.

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March 3, 2022

"Spongy moth" has been formally adopted as the new common name for the moth species Lymantria dispar by the Entomological Society of America.

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Treated buckthorn in Randolph, funded with an EQIP Contract

January 26, 2022

Landowners interested in enrolling in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to receive financial assistance to help treat invasive plants on their property or perform other habitat enhancement activities (such as releasing mast trees, planting riparian buffers, or creating young forest patches) are encouraged to reach out to wildlife biologists from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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November 19, 2021

Oftentimes, native plants and their invasive counterparts appear nearly indistinguishable to an untrained eye. These physiological similarities may allow the invader to remain undetected for years. This ability to remain concealed, hidden from early detection, paired with their competitive edge in resource acquisition is what allows them to turn into nuisances, capable of altering entire ecosystems. This secretive similarity in the nature of plant growth is an example of a case between two similar looking aquatic plants, Elodea and Hydrilla, which caused some excitement this summer.

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November 18, 2021

The VT FPR Invasive Plant Program is asking you to send in photos of invasive plants through the winter period to add to the dataset. Your photos can help increase our collective understanding of invasive plant phenology.

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Comparison of hybrid and parent species of honeysuckle. Left to Right: Morrow’s, showy, and tatarian honeysuckle leaves and flowers. Photo credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

November 17, 2021

Over 75% of Vermont is beautiful forests – with more than 80% of that being privately owned – but much of that forest land faces a significant forest health threat in the form of invasive plants. It is up to each of us to do our part, whether on our own land or in our communities, to help protect Vermont forests for future generations. Even small actions, like choosing locally evolved plants for your garden or pulling up garlic mustard on town trails add up to make a big difference. At the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, our burgeoning Invasive Plant Program is working to help steward Vermont’s state-owned public lands and, through grant funded programs, help communities do the same with support by trained professionals.

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September 27, 2021

Go take a hike. Or a walk. Or a drive. Whatever gets you outside and looking at plants! This was the directive Lina Swislocki, the VT Forests Parks & Recreation’s Assistant Invasive Plants Coordinator playfully gave to volunteer observers. During the second full week of each month from April to September, these observers take note of all things invasive plants – getting up close and personal to collect data on invasive plant phenology.

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Tree of heaven leaves

September 27, 2021

In mid-August, a concerned community member brought to the attention of scientists, the presence of an invasive insect. The insect, spotted lanternfly, had never been reported before in Vermont, and was first detected in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania, but has spread across the eastern US to 8 states.

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June 21, 2021

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous biennial plant. It is thought to have originated in Europe where it was historically grown as food and medicine. It likely came to the Vermont region with colonizers in the 1600s – so long ago that many people don’t realize it didn’t evolve here – and has been widely seen in area woodlands since the late 1800s.

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June 21, 2021

Many Vermonters around the state are encountering spongy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar or LDD) caterpillars causing defoliation of their trees. This invasive insect arrived in the United States over 100 years ago and has been expanding its range ever since. Spongy moth can be a significant defoliator (leaf eater) of trees and shrubs, and although they prefer oak trees, high populations will cause them to eat many types of leaves, including maple and pine. Spongy moth caterpillars can create a nuisance for homeowners, from the sights of caterpillars climbing the sides of residences and falling frass to the sounds of chewing on leaves.

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June 21, 2021

Several new detections of EAB in Vermont have expanded existing Infested Areas, including into two new counties. The new detections were found in the towns of Hartford (White River Junction), Brookfield, and Belvidere.

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