Invasives in the News

October 18, 2016

The numbers of Forest Tent Caterpillar, a native insect that feeds on hardwoods, are on the rise. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (VT FPR) monitors Forest Tent Caterpillar. Trap catches this year increased compared to last year in 12 of 13 sites. Populations seem to be growing across the state. The 2016 aerial survey mapped at least 24,500 acres of FTC defoliation. Heaviest defoliation occurred in Essex, Lamoille, Orleans and Caledonia counties.

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Asian clams

October 6, 2016

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources staff have confirmed the presence of Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) in Lake Bomoseen.

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September 13, 2016

When the woolly adelgid come and a white cloud of tiny insects descends on the forest, the eastern hemlock dies.

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September 6, 2016

An international team of researchers has designed decoys that mimic female emerald ash borer beetles and successfully entice male emerald ash borers to land on them in an attempt to mate, only to be electrocuted and killed by high-voltage current.

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September 1, 2016

"A new paper suggests we need to rethink our models about endangered plant species.

Japanese knotweed. Purple loosestrife. Kudzu. Mesquite. Giant hogweed. Bitou bush. What do all of these plants have in common? Easy: they’re all among the most invasive plant species on the planet. Wherever they turn up, native species often get squeezed out and pushed toward extinction.

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August 22, 2016

For those who have never visited Seymour Lake in Morgan, Vermont – you’re missing out. This glacial lake in the Northeast Kingdom offers some of the most spectacular views, crystal clear waters, and excellent fishing opportunities in Vermont. It is also free of aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels that have plagued other waterbodies.

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August 17, 2016

The problems caused by invasive species are not going away overnight. Vermont is facing a long-term stewardship issue that requires ingenious, thoughtful, and continued focus as we figure out how best to care for our land and water.

Much of Vermont is still relatively invasive free compared to our southern New England neighbors. The opportunity to maintain the existing structure and...

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August 16, 2016

Hemlock trees in southern Vermont have been threatened with hemlock woolly adelgid for several years.  They have also been stressed by drought for two seasons.  Recently another stressor has been added to the mix.  Elongate hemlock scale (EHS) has been found in stands of hemlock in Windham County, occasionally in conjunction with hemlock woolly adelgid.  

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August 15, 2016

Mike Bald tries not to use war terminology to describe his work of invasive plant removal. It's a resolution made difficult by the sheer magnitude of the task he faces. Royalton-based Bald spends his days crisscrossing the state digging, chopping and pulling myriad nonnative species: Japanese knotweed, chervil, giant hogweed, Japanese barberry and, for now, lots of wild parsnip.

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August 10, 2016

The Forest Health Update for July 2016 discusses Vermont's dry weather, sugar maple insects, early detection invasive plants, poison parsnip webworm, oak twig pruner, dutch elm disease, and Emerald Ash Borer Biosurveillance.


Check out the full articles at (opens a pdf):

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August 2, 2016

WINOOSKI — Elizabeth Spinney and her crew walked through Gilbrook Natural Area armed with their weapons of choice, protected by thick gardening gloves and work boots. They were on the hunt for invasive plants, and their recent battle was just the latest in a war that seems never ending.

The invasive species problem continues to get worse as more plants find the Northeast to be a...

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July 14, 2016

Just 15 years ago, the eastern hemlock tree, the mighty Redwood of the East, was a scenic highlight of Virginia’s Skyline Drive, creating the shady groves that put Shenandoah National Park on the conservation map.

Now 95% of them are dead, rotting on the forest floor or still standing above the canopy as gray ghosts, with a few scattered survivors living on borrowed time as their attackers literally suck the life out of them.

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July 11, 2016

Last year’s dry spring, coupled with a stretch of dry weather this year, has helped to fuel the resurgence of the gypsy moth caterpillar, a furry nuisance blamed for defoliating an estimated 9 million acres from Maine to Maryland in 1981

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July 5, 2016

In the mid-2000s, a brown, slimy organism began showing up in some of Vermont’s high-quality trout streams. First in the Batten Kill River in 2006, and later in the White River and Mad River, among others. It appeared that Didymosphenia geminata (Didymo, or “rock snot”) had gained a foothold in the state, and was slowly spreading across Vermont. There were fears that the...

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