First report of laurel wilt, caused by Raffaelea lauricola, on sassafras (Sassafras albidum) in Alabama
Laurel wilt, caused by Raffaelea lauricola, a fungal symbiont of the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, is responsible for extensive mortality of native redbays (Persea borbonia and P. Palustris) in the coastal plains of the southeastern United States. The wilt also affect the more widespread sassafras, Sassafras albidum, particularly in areas where diseased redbays are common and populations of X. glabratus are high. Because sassafras stems were thought to lack chemicals that are attractive to the beetle, and sassafras tends to be widely scattered in forests, it was believed that the advance of the laurel wilt epidemic front might slow once it reach the edge of the natural range of redbay, which is restricted to the coastal plains of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. In July and August of 2011, wilt-like symptoms, wilted and dead leaves, and streaks of black discoloration in the xylem were observed on 1 to 10 sassafras treees at each of three locations in Marego County, Alabama.
You can order print copies of our publications through our publication ordering system. Make a note of the publication you wish to request, and visit our Publication Order Site.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unuseable.
- To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.