Spongy Moths Ready to Hatch
4/12/22 Conservation & Trails Committee Meeting
by Ken Signorello
April 13, 2022
The moth formerly known as “gypsy" caused significant defoliation around town last spring, especially noticeable at Indian Brook Park and the Pinewood development. Each female spongy moth left behind hundreds of eggs in each egg mass ready to hatch in just a few weeks and potentially cause a repeat defoliation event.
The Essex Conservation and Trails Committee has reached out to Homeowners Associations to meet and review options to mitigate the risk, meeting with 8 to date. They also produced a fact sheet which homeowners can find here.
The Town and State have adopted a wait-and-see stance regarding treatment on public land. There is a chance that a naturally occurring fungus and virus will keep the spongy moth population in check as they have in prior years. Trees can withstand one or two years of defoliation with limited mortality.
With the Emerald Ash Borer likely to kill many Green Ash trees planted in Town Rights-of-Way, the Conservation & Trails Committee has developed a program that will support newly planted replacement trees.
The Adopt a Tree Program “is a public-private partnership created by the Town of Essex to promote a healthy, vibrant, and diverse urban forest. Community members take on basic responsibilities to care for trees, and help keep an eye out for major tree problems to which the Town should be alerted.”
Other Events and News
Indian Brook Park Annual Spring Clean-Up Day Saturday, May 21, 2022 for the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Bad weather date: May 28)
The committee has received a Greening Schools grant from Vermont Urban & Community Forestry which will result in the planting of a 2" caliper Crabapple between the Essex Middle School and Founders Road. The tree is from Horsford and excavation and planting will be by Heritage Tree Care. Tentative planting will be on Vermont Arbor Day
Disclaimer: Ken Signorello is a member of the Essex Conservation and Trails Committee
Photo by Ken Signorello