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Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Essex Junction

Posted Thursday, February 8, 2024
Tree Advisory CommitteeUpdates
Emerald Ash Borer in Essex Junction graphic

For a number of years, the City of Essex Junction seemed an oasis from the onslaught of this dreaded insect. With the exception of the Town of Essex, the neighboring communities of Essex Junction have all discovered Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

In early January, Warren Spinner, the City Tree Warden, and Nick Meyer, Chair of the Tree Advisory Committee, investigated some Ash trees located on Hayden Street that had symptoms of an EAB infestation, such as bark flecking, canopy decline, and woodpecker activity. Armed with a draw knife, they removed bark and found the random tunneling of the EAB larvae in the cambium. Seeking confirmation, they contacted Liam Farley, a Forest Health Specialist from the Vermont Department of Forest and Parks and Recreation. He met with them, and they did further bark removal, uncovering a larva that was confirmed as EAB. 

Fortunately, Essex Junction does not have a large population of public Ash trees. However, the loss of these trees will dramatically impact several streets. These streets comprise Hayden, Wilkinson, Tyler, and Lavoie. Ash trees were the only species planted on both sides of the street. The lessons of Dutch Elm Disease and the planting of an Elm monoculture seemed to have been forgotten when this development was designed in the 1980s.

The City of Essex Junction Tree Committee has been anticipating the arrival of EAB. We developed an EAB management plan, and for the past five years, they have been interplanting trees as well as selectively removing trees. Their actions will lessen the impact to these neighborhoods as EAB takes its toll. The area will have a healthier, diverse tree canopy. Knowing that the insect has arrived, their approach remains the same but with heightened attention.

This month, the City received a 2024 Growing Urban Forests in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer grant for $18,320 from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Urban & Community Forestry Program, and the USDA Forest Service. Essex Junction was one of seven recipients to receive funding specifically for mitigation of the impacts of emerald ash borer through ash removal within a 1-mile radius of Agency and Commerce & Community Development designated areas and replanting trees of species other than ash throughout the community.

With this funding, the City will be removing Ash trees and planting replacement trees on municipal land in accordance with the City’s Emerald Ash Borer plan. The Tree Advisory Committee will discuss the plan with residents on the affected streets, and the City’s Public Works Department will take down Ash trees on Hayden, Wilkinson, Tyler, and Lavoie streets as weather permits.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Tree Advisory Committee, at Tree.Committee@

For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer, visit: