News

UVM Extension offers online course

“Vermont’s Backyard Woods”

The Backyard Woods Program is an online course targeted at teaching homeowners with 25 acres or less about their woods and how they can be caretakers of it! Whether you own 2 acres or 20 acres, this program will help you make the most out of the woods in your backyard!

Course Details:

  • The online course starts Sept. 24 and runs through Nov. 3.
  • Participants will also be invited to an in-person Backyard Woods field walk (TBD).
  • This course is composed of 4 online sections. Each section has videos, webinars, and activities aimed at helping you develop a stewardship action plan with a project schedule.

Self-Paced: This online course is self-paced and all activities are to be completed on your own schedule during the course, with the exception of the live webinars and in-person walks.  The course schedule is intended to keep you on track to complete the course in 6 weeks. This flexibility allows you to complete all the activities and watch videos when you have time each week. You can expect to spend 1.5-3 hours each week on the course.

Registration:  The course costs $30 per family, before September 16, or $40 (on September 17 or afterward). Learn more and register at go.uvm.edu/woods18

Questions? Contact Gwen at  or 802-651-8343.

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Vermont

February 27, 2018 / Montpelier VT — The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation (VTFPR) and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Foods & Markets (VAAFM) report that emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive forest insect from Asia, has been detected in Vermont. Officials with the USDA Animal & Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the identification of a beetle recently found in northern Orange County, Vermont. The insect was reported through the vtinvasives.org website.

EAB overwinter as larvae under the bark of ash trees where they feed on the inner bark tissue. Once infested, ash trees rapidly decline and are killed in 3-5 years. This pest is known to be established in 32 states and three Canadian provinces and is responsible for widespread decline and mortality of hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America.

Ash trees comprise approximately 5% of Vermont forests and are also a very common and important urban tree. EAB threatens white ash, green ash and black ash in Vermont and could have significant ecological and economic impacts. There are no proven means to control EAB in forested areas, though individual trees can sometimes be effectively treated.

State and federal forest health officials have convened and are preparing to implement an emergency action plan in response to the recent EAB detection in Vermont. A multi-agency delineation survey effort, including personnel from VAAFM, VTFPR, APHIS, US Forest Service and the University of Vermont Extension, will be launched in the upcoming days to determine the extent of the EAB infestation. Results of the survey will inform subsequent management recommendations and quarantine decisions and will be released to the public.

Slowing the spread of EAB is very important. While adult EAB are capable of flying short distances, humans have accelerated spread by moving infested material, particularly firewood, long distances. Residents and visitors are reminded to protect Vermont’s forests by buying and burning local firewood.

It is so important that we now have as many sets of eyes watching our ash trees as possible. Many of the entomologists believe that the “blonding” … may be one of the best detection techniques. This is where woodpeckers seeking out the little larvae, peck at the ash tree’s corky bark, exposing the lighter inner bark creating distinct patches of lighter colored bark….

Landowners with questions are encouraged to contact their county forester. You can find county foresters on this website: http://fpr.vermont.gov/forest/your_woods/county_forest/who_where.

A public information meeting is being planned and details will be announced shortly.

For questions contact:     Barbara Schultz, Forest Health Program Manager

VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

802-777-2082

 

Emilie Inoue, State Pest Survey Coordinator

VT Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

802-505-0217

 

More information is available at: http://vtinvasives.org/