Infestations, tree diseases exploding in Suwannee County

There are 3 comments on the Suwanee Democrat story from Aug 27, 2012, titled Infestations, tree diseases exploding in Suwannee County. In it, Suwanee Democrat reports that:

Live Oak - Laurel wilt disease has made its presence highly known in southern Suwannee County and is killing red bay trees "at an alarming rate", Suwannee County Senior Forester Brian Cobble said.

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concerned in Branford

Alachua, FL

#1 Aug 27, 2012
There are many dead/dying red bay trees in the subdivision where I live. What is the proper way to dispose of these dead trees?
George Duren

Mc Intosh, FL

#2 Aug 27, 2012
Currently, we recommend that homeowners:

Report any suspicious redbay, sassafras, and avocado trees to the Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 . These trees are all in the Laurel family. As far as is currently known, the redbay ambrosia beetle does not attack trees in other families like oaks, maples, mangoes, sapodilla, and citrus, nor are these species susceptible to the fungus that causes laurel wilt.
Redbay and other host woody forest species should not be moved or sold as firewood, tree trimmings, BBQ smoke-wood, mulch, or wood-turning material.
Extreme caution should be used in moving live host trees (e.g., redbay, avocado) and wood products into counties where the pest is not yet found. Insect- and disease-free containerized host trees should only be purchased from registered nurseries, and trees showing any signs of wilt or dieback should be destroyed immediately.
Fungicide treatment with Alamo®(propiconazole) for redbay has been successfully tested and protected mature trees up to 18 months (Mayfield et al, 2008). However, the time to retreat trees is not well defined yet. High value trees may be protected from laurel wilt though mass infusion. Homeowners with an interest in protecting high value trees may want to obtain assistance in applying Alamo® through contracting with a certified arborist that is insured and has their pesticide operator's license. There are no approved fungicide treatments for avocado trees at this time.
The issue of dead or dying tree disposal is complicated by numerous state, county, and local regulations. Current recommendations for urban and rural residents with redbay or avocado trees that are confirmed to be positive for the laurel wilt disease will vary, but these trees should be destroyed because of their potential as beetle habitat and the danger that they will increase the beetle population and further spread the disease. Potential options for tree disposal will vary by county and local regulations and may include: cutting the tree down and placing the wood into the urban debris stream (i.e., the wood is taken to the local landfill and destroyed or buried) or composting the tree by cutting it to ground, placing all wood (or chips) on top of the stump, and covering with a tarp all the way to the ground. However, composting is not allowed in some urban areas, so please contact your local county government for guidance. Burning is not recommended because of the necessity to obtain state, county, and/or municipal burn permits and the danger of uncontrolled burning by residents.
Please contact your local University of Florida/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service for more information.

More information on the laurel wilt-redbay ambrosia beetle may be found at:

University of Florida/IFAS –

http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu
http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu
concerned in Branford

Alachua, FL

#3 Sep 5, 2012
Thank you so much for this information.
George Duren wrote:
Currently, we recommend that homeowners:
Report any suspicious redbay, sassafras, and avocado trees to the Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 . These trees are all in the Laurel family. As far as is currently known, the redbay ambrosia beetle does not attack trees in other families like oaks, maples, mangoes, sapodilla, and citrus, nor are these species susceptible to the fungus that causes laurel wilt.
Redbay and other host woody forest species should not be moved or sold as firewood, tree trimmings, BBQ smoke-wood, mulch, or wood-turning material.
Extreme caution should be used in moving live host trees (e.g., redbay, avocado) and wood products into counties where the pest is not yet found. Insect- and disease-free containerized host trees should only be purchased from registered nurseries, and trees showing any signs of wilt or dieback should be destroyed immediately.
Fungicide treatment with Alamo®(propiconazole) for redbay has been successfully tested and protected mature trees up to 18 months (Mayfield et al, 2008). However, the time to retreat trees is not well defined yet. High value trees may be protected from laurel wilt though mass infusion. Homeowners with an interest in protecting high value trees may want to obtain assistance in applying Alamo® through contracting with a certified arborist that is insured and has their pesticide operator's license. There are no approved fungicide treatments for avocado trees at this time.
The issue of dead or dying tree disposal is complicated by numerous state, county, and local regulations. Current recommendations for urban and rural residents with redbay or avocado trees that are confirmed to be positive for the laurel wilt disease will vary, but these trees should be destroyed because of their potential as beetle habitat and the danger that they will increase the beetle population and further spread the disease. Potential options for tree disposal will vary by county and local regulations and may include: cutting the tree down and placing the wood into the urban debris stream (i.e., the wood is taken to the local landfill and destroyed or buried) or composting the tree by cutting it to ground, placing all wood (or chips) on top of the stump, and covering with a tarp all the way to the ground. However, composting is not allowed in some urban areas, so please contact your local county government for guidance. Burning is not recommended because of the necessity to obtain state, county, and/or municipal burn permits and the danger of uncontrolled burning by residents.
Please contact your local University of Florida/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service for more information.
More information on the laurel wilt-redbay ambrosia beetle may be found at:
University of Florida/IFAS –
http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu
http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu

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