Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to the health of Vermont’s forest. An invasive is a species that has been introduced to an area and has the ability to survive and thrive outside it native range. Without natural predators in their new habitat, invasive species can outcompete native species. Invasive plants, insects and trees can negatively impact regeneration, forest structure, ecosystem function, recreation, wildlife habitat and even human health. Once established, they can also be costly to manage. Early dedication and treatment are important to preventing the spread of invasives in Vermont and lessening the impact on Vermont’s forest.
- There are common Invasive Species already established in Vermont. Invasive plants, shrubs and trees are becoming more and more common in Vermont woods. Some of the most common invasives species include: common buckthorn, glossy buckthorn, Japanese barberry, oriental bittersweet, Norway maple and Japanese knotweed.
- We have invasives on the horizon. Vermont’s forest is threatened by three invasive tree pests including emerald ash borer (EAB), Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA). Only hemlock wooly adelgid is currently present in the state; emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle are within fifty miles of Vermont’s border.
- Get started managing and controlling invasive species. Monitoring for and treating invasive species is one of the most important things you can do to take care of Vermont’s forests and natural areas. Be on the lookout for invasive species, and consider these practices to help manage invasives in your neck of the woods.
- Know what you’re dealing with. Proper identification is important to successful management and eradication of invasives. Checkout this gallery of invaders for identification information on all the invasives found in Vermont.
- Know how much you have. Consider sharing your observations via iNaturalist and contributing to the Vermont Invasives Inventory Project
- Make sure your doing the right treatment at the right time! Checkout the species phenology and treatment options in the gallery of invaders under each species to make sure your applying the right treatment at the right time.
- Report suspected sighting of new invasives. Be on the lookout for invasive tree pests or new invasives plants. Think you’ve found something- report a plant or report a pest.
- Prepare now. Learn some of the ways you can prepare your woods and prepare your community for the arrival of invasive forest pests like HWA, EAB and ALB.
- Get involved. Make a difference for the future of invasive species in Vermont’s forests by becoming a Forest Pest First Detector.