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Forest tent caterpillar damage expected again in 2018

Forest tent caterpillars have hatched, according to forest health specialists from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. These insects are expected to cause defoliation again this summer in maple forests in northern and southern Vermont.

Forest tent caterpillars will continue feeding through June. They prefer sugar maple and ash but can feed on other tree species as well. In 2017, forest tent caterpillars defoliated 60,000 acres of forestland, affecting every county in the state.

Defoliation reduces tree growth and can have an impact on maple tapping for syrup production. However, most trees will survive despite such setbacks, even if they are defoliated several years in a row.

Forest tent caterpillars are native to much of North America, including Vermont. Natural enemies of the caterpillar have brought previous outbreaks to an end before significant tree mortality occurred.

Forest tent caterpillars are mostly blue, with white keyhole-shaped spots. In spite of their name, they do not create “tents” of webbing like their close relatives, the eastern tent caterpillars.

Instead, they can be spotted feeding directly on leaves, resting in masses on the bark, and in mid-summer their cocoons can be seen rolled up inside leaves.

Over the past winter, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation conducted surveys of forest tent caterpillar egg masses in 70 sugarbushes to predict the risk of defoliation in 2018.

Thirty of the survey locations are at risk of defoliation this spring. Based on these surveys, landowners will be having 13 of these sugarbushes, about 4,000 acres total, treated with a certified-organic biological insecticide, Btk, (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki), to protect them from defoliation.

These aerial treatments will be dependent on weather and growth stage. To learn more, visit fpr.vermont.gov.

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Peter Ford
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Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

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TB Smith
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TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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Bev Matias
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Bev Matias (Connecticut, US) says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incediary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

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Janet
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Janet (Venice, Florida, US) says...

You nailed it perfectly.

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