Bugs & Shrubs Buzz

Ficus blister galls are causing defoliation and branch die-back of many of our heritage, old-time Cuban laurel ficus trees (Ficus microcarpa). This is a difficult pest to manage, but there is some success with trunk injections of emamectin benzoate and to a lesser degree imidacloprid. Stay tuned for new information on how to better manage these blister galls caused by a tiny wasp, Josephiella microcarpae. Please share with me if you have found a treatment that gives excellent control!

See our video on this at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyGDcMXneMU

Laurel Wilt (Avocado) Disease is in Collier County: In mid-April, Scott Krueger, Ag. Inspector with the Division Plant Inspection (FDACS), reported an avocado tree that had died from this new disease. I have had about 3 calls in the last few weeks about dying redbays. This is most likely due to laurel wilt disease which has been killing trees in the southeastern US since 2002. Key symptoms are dead leaves which do not drop off and frass extrusions which resemble cigarette ash extruding from the trunk.
The redbay ambrosia beetle is attracted to volatiles naturally emitted by healthy living trees as well as injured avocado (Persea americana) and redbay (Persea borbonia) trees. Please see the fact sheet “Laurel Wilt: A Threat to Redbay, Avocado, and RelatedTrees in Urban and Rural Landscapes”.  Ambrosia beetles (there are about 5 native ambrosia beetles which can also spread this disease as well) bore into the sap wood and infect trees with the fungus which clogs the vascular pipelines and causes death.
SANITATION (tree removal and disposal) is highly important to suppress the spread of this disease.
The photos below are from a publication by Dr. Jonathan Crane. See it and more at the Laurel wilt action home page UF|IFAS at:
http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/RAB-LW-2/RAB_Documents.shtml
                          3 Upcoming Classes:
1. Fertilizer BMP Certification. June 8 at Rookery Bay.
Register here:https://rookerybay.org/calendar.html?eventId=1850&controller=event&task=memberdata

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2. Become a Certified Arborist:
Exam Prep Class June 24 and Exam June 25.
Register (you may need to copy and paste in browser) at:
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3. In Spanish at Rookery Bay June 21: Pesticide training. The “Roundup” Category– Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance -the required 6 hour class plus the exam.
Register here:
https://rookerybay.org/calendar.html?controller=event&task=options&eventId=1877

dg

Doug Caldwell, Ph.D.
AKA DR. DOUGBUG
Doug is the Commercial Landscape Horticulture Extension Educator and landscape entomologist with the University of Florida.
The Extension Service is an off-campus branch of the University of Florida, Institute of the Food and Agricultural Sciences [IFAS] and a department of the Public Services Division of Collier County government.

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