Invasives in the News

July 28, 2017

Walk through a hardwood forest this month and it may seem more like October than July. Trees that normally provide cool shade have bare crowns with just a hint of green. And is the bark on that sugar maple moving? This is not a trick of the light: you are, in fact, in the middle of a forest tent caterpillar outbreak.
 

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July 18, 2017

The Japanese barberry tree, a popular landscaping shrub with attractive flowers, was banned from sale in the state of New York in the spring of 2015. The Japanese barberry tree is one of the 11 plants on the state’s banned invasives list, but it will soon be returning to nurseries because of research done by the University of Connecticut. The return will likely take place in the next year.

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July 12, 2017

Woodstock — Consider it an ecological murder mystery.

The Twin States’ red pines are dying, and for the last few years, University of New Hampshire researcher Mike Simmons has been on the case, trekking into the woods to perform autopsies on wooden corpses and taking tissue samples back to the lab for forensic analysis.

When Simmons is out in the field, sometimes he sees stands of majestic, hundred-foot-tall red pines that are barely affected — perhaps a bit of discoloration at the lofty crown, or a few needles dropping off.

Other times it’s a sap bath, with dismembered limbs strewn across the forest floor, and 80 percent of a community of pines dead, skeletons firmly rooted in place and awaiting decay.

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A man inspects his boat for aquatic invasive species

June 27, 2017

A bill recently signed into law by Governor Scott requires watercraft operators to inspect vessels for aquatic invasive species, and also requires livewells, bilge tanks, and other water-holding compartments to be drained prior to out-of-water transport. The new legislation is aimed at further reducing the spread potential of exotic pests that are deleterious to Vermont's aquatic resources.

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Management can have as much of an impact as the invasive plants. Removing invasive plants at Button Bay State Park in the “natural area” involves thoughtful control work, to protect rare, threatened, or endangered native plant species.

June 26, 2017

This is part two in a three-part series on how to create an invasive plant management plan. This section will guide you through outlining the description, purpose of management, desired condition, and current condition of each site under consideration

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June 21, 2017

Windham County Forester, Bill Guenther, shares a story about an attempt to regenerate a stand of white pine trees. The story features a woodlot in Westminster where a forester prepared a shelterwood cutting of mature white pine. Unfortunately, several years later, the stand of regenerated white pine was completely taken over by the invasive plant glossy buckthorn.

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June 21, 2017

Residents and people traveling through Bethel, VT have been witness to a spectacular display of insect webbing.  Entire trees, chain link fences and large patches of ground cover plants are covered with silken webbing – as if someone went overboard with decorations for Halloween.  The scene has prompted calls to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

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June 7, 2017

Science Daily reports--

Date:  May 18, 2017
Source: Cambridge University Press
Summary: It is easy to assume that getting rid of invasive plants will allow a local ecosystem to return to its natural state, with native vegetation flourishing once again. However, the impact of weedy invaders can linger for years, a new report outlines.

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June 1, 2017

Will invasive species ruin baseball? 

Well no, not really. However, quite a few people, including Major League Baseball are concerned that they could ruin a part of baseball tradition. The enemy this time is the emerald ash borer. The metallic green beetle should not be anywhere in the United States but it hitched rides over to our country using our modern methods of transportation. More specifically, this beetle came by way of cargo ships across the ocean.

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EAB larve in olive stem

May 24, 2017

An emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) larvae is revealed successfully developing in the wood of a cultivated olive tree—adding a second species to the list of non-ash trees that the invasive insect can attack.

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May 22, 2017

The USDA Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team has released a  Field Guide for the Biological Control of Weeds in Eastern North America. This guide includes a quick search by flower color (non-flowering are gray), discusses basic plant and biocontrol biology, and has a symbol-driven efficacy quick guide (status for individual biocontrols: high-low priority, caution with redistribution, illegal to redistribute, no establishment, failed to establish). 

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May 12, 2017

The Stowe Land Trust is working on a multiyear effort to restore native diversity and habitats to 50 acres of conserved land on the DuMont Meadow property at the end of Adams Mill Road.

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May 8, 2017

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program has a vacancy for its 2017 summer survey program.  The program is seeking one qualified individual to assist with the field survey for plant pests that are destructive to Vermont’s forests and natural resources.

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April 21, 2017

This is part one in a three-part series on how to create an invasive plant management plan.

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Zebra mussels can quickly attach to and populate all hard surfaces found on a lake bottom

April 21, 2017

Although other aquatic invasives have been the topic of conversation in recent years, zebra mussels still remain as one of, if not the biggest, threat to many of Vermont's waters. 

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