Snake Worms in Horticulture – Are There Any Solutions?

October 3, 2021 – 3:00 – 5:00 pm
North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, VT  05602

RSVP:  kristina@vnlavt.org

FREE!  There will be no registration fee however we will gratefully accept donations at the door to cover the cost of the room rental. 

COVID POLICIES AT NORTH BRANCH NATURE CENTER:  Masks are required indoors for all staff, visitors, and participants; masks are optional outdoors.  You can read more HERE.

Join the VNLA and Professor Josef Gorres, University of Vermont Plant and Soil Science Department on Sunday, October 3, 2021 to learn about the invasive snake worms (Amynthas spp.) in Vermont, which includes:

  • identifying the tell-tale signs of their presence
  • how to identify snake worms clearly and distinguish them from the lumbricid species that have been introduced from Europe a few centuries ago
  • their impact on the environment and why they are so numerous in horticulture
  • recent advances in how to manage them.

And, with a bit of luck we will find some live specimens at North Branch and the nearby Montpelier Tree Nursery.   This gathering will take place both indoors and outdoors.  

MORE ABOUT SNAKE WORMS 

Snake worms are aggressively invasive earthworms that hail from Japan and Korea and were introduced to North America probably a century ago. In the Northeast they were first described in horticultural settings such as greenhouses and zoological gardens mid-20th century. Now they are found more widely spread at nurseries, gardens and hardwood forests. They are regarded as a long term threat to the sugar maple industry as they are one factor in the reduction in forest regeneration. Some plant damage has also been reported from containerized plants at nurseries. Customers of horticultural goods are not keen on importing them to their gardens.

Researchers at the University of Vermont, including Professor Gorres,  have been studying these worms for the past 12 years and potential biological controls for the past three years. Especially with respect to biological control there have been some development that may as part of a larger strategy help manage these invaders.  They welcome any VT growers to participate in trials next year.  You can read more about this work HERE.