Invasive plants are plants that are not native to a particular ecosystem and cause harm to that environment, the economy, or to human health. Invasive species can displace native species, reduce native wildlife habitat, degrade recreational areas, reduce forest health and productivity, and alter the local ecosystem. While invasive plants may appear aesthetically pleasing, they can pose serious threats. Learn more about invasive species in Vermont here.
Some common invasives you may find in Montpelier, including our parks, include: Japanese knotweed, goutweed, common reed, shrub honeysuckle, common buckthorn, purple loosestrife, asiatic or oriental bittersweet, Norway maple, and multiflora rose (learn more about how to identify these plants here).
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a destructive insect that kills ash trees within 2 to 5 years (learn more here). It is present in Montpelier, and Parks & Trees staff are working with Montpelier Tree Board members and State Urban and Community Forestry staff to help protect our trees. If you are a resident concerned about the EAB, your calm, thoughtful action can reduce hazards and the amount of money it will take us to help protect our trees. In order to slow the spread of this harmful insect, we need your help!
1. Learn to identify ash trees and explore your property to see if you have any so you can monitor their health.
2. If you do have an ash tree(s) on your property, keep an eye out for upper branches that don't have leaves, trunks or branches with woodpecker holes, and branches with leaves sprouting from the lower trunk area. If you do have an ash tree in poor condition, you should consider having it removed. These trees become brittle and branches can fall without warning.
3. Here are some helpful links when dealing with EAB:
- Vermont Invasives EAB identification and Homeowners Guide to the Emerald Ash Borer are two places to find out more about how to identify the EAB (it can be tricky!) and what to do if you see one.
- Ash Tree ID Guide will help to identify ash trees. Explore your property to see if you have one, and if you do, monitor its health.
- If you do have an ash tree on your property, keep an eye out for signs of dead or rotten wood, branches that don't have leaves, dead leaves or off-color leaves. If you find your ash tree is ailing, you should seriously consider having it removed. Affected trees become weak or fall, making them a risk around people, cars or buildings.
- Questions or concerns about EAB in our parks? Write to EAB@montpelier-vt.org.
Check out Montpelier's Management Plan for the Emerald Ash Borer (2018-2028) to learn more.
What you can do
If you know how to identify invasive plants and you are concerned about certain areas of the park, please contact Parks Director Alec Ellsworth at email@example.com. Other things you can do:
- Learn to identify invasive species so you can watch out for them and report them.
- Routinely clean your boots, gear, boats, tires, and any other equipment exposed to the outdoors to prevent the spread of invasives.
- Avoid or limit your activity in areas that are infested with invasive species.
- Buy local, plant local. Buy and plant native plants where you can, and remove exotic species. When you go camping, buy firewood that comes from within 30 miles of your campground.
- Create an iNaturalist account and log observations of invasive species that you see.