Emerald Ash Borer. Credit: Courtesy of the University of Maine

MONTPELIER, Vt. — An insect pest that has the potential to devastate Vermont ash trees is continuing to spread across the state.

A program that monitors the state looking for the spread of the emerald ash borer and other invasive pests says infestations have been found in the towns of Berlin, Highgate, Middlebury, Rupert, St. Albans, Swanton and Wilmington.

Emerald ash borers are an invasive insect pest that can devastate ash trees. They were first discovered in Vermont in 2018. Despite efforts to control them, they have now been reported from one end of Vermont to the other.

The latest discovery means forest landowners, homeowners, foresters, logging contractors, municipalities, and utilities in the infested areas and nearby areas should evaluate the options available to them to protect ash trees.

It is suggested they implement Vermont’s “Slow the Spread” recommendations, which include restrictions on the movement and treatment of ash tree products, such as logs, wood chips and bark.

Infestations naturally spread one to two miles a year but can spread faster and wider if movement of infested material, especially ash firewood and logs, is done without due care, the state said.