A Technical Report from The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories

Laurel wilt is a destructive vascular wilt disease affecting members of the Lauraceae family (commonly referred to as “laurels”) such as redbay (Persea borbonia), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and the agriculturally important avocado (Persea americana). In 2003, laurel wilt was first observed on the coastal plains of South Carolina and Georgia, soon after the redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB) (Xyleborus glabratus) was first recorded in the U.S. in 2002 (Figure 1) [1]. The fungus responsible for laurel wilt, Raffaelea lauricola, is transmitted by RAB in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship.

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