MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont is the latest state to join a 31-state quarantine put in place to prevent the spread of the non-native emerald ash borer.

The quarantine is designed to prevent the spread of the invasive species into unaffected areas.

Under the quarantine, ash wood may not be transported from Vermont to Rhode Island, Maine or seven counties in New Hampshire.

The insect has not yet been found in Maine forests, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The ash borer, which is native to Asia, was first found in Michigan in 2002. It has spread to 30 states and three Canadian provinces.

Scientists say the ash borer has pushed five species of ash trees to the brink of extinction.

Vermont officials announced in February the ash borer had been found in the state for the first time.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive forest pest. Courtesy file photo

Ash trees make up about 5 percent of Vermont forests.

In Maine, ash represents about 2 percent of the trees in the state’s 17 million acres of forest, and white ash is commercially valuable for making things like snowshoes and canoe paddles.

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