Dr. Elizabeth McCarty, Forest Health Specialist from the Warnell School of Forestry, was our featured speaker for October’s Thoughtful Thursday webinar. Dr. McCarty shared with us about Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), a pest that has been in the U.S. for a while, but has recently been spotted in South Carolina (at this time, there is no known presence in Georgia). Because Master Gardener Extension Volunteers support Help Desks and Plant Clinics as well as answer emails regarding plant problems, we wanted you to be informed about this pest.
ALB is a pest of hardwood trees. They have a sizeable exit hole (0.4″) and prefer maple, but will also impact horsechestnut, willow, elm, birch, and poplar. This makes them different from a number of borers that have a similar exit hole and affect our native trees. When answering questions or troubleshooting dead trees, she encourages you to pause and give the trees “a really good look.” Ask questions about how long the decline has been occurring. If you have a maple that has suddenly declined, take a second look for those exit holes.
As educators, MGEVs can continue to advise people to not transport firewood. This will help slow the spread of pests such as ALB.
In the event that you suspect ALB, contact your Extension agent immediately. They will then coordinate with Extension specialist, such as Dr. McCarty, who will give further direction.
We have one final Thoughtful Thursday webinar for the year! Join us on November 11, 2021, as we share about a strategic plan for Georgia’s MGEV Program: 2021-2026. The webinar series resumes February 10, 2022.