Laurel Wilt

Abstract

Laurel wilt is a disease of woody plants in the laurel family (Lauraceae). Hundreds of millions of redbay (Persea borbonia) trees have been killed by laurel wilt in the southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain region of the United States (US). The disease has also killed large numbers of sassafras (Sassafras albidum) trees in forests and landscapes, and avocado (Persea americana) trees in commercial production. As of October 2019, laurel wilt was known to occur from Texas to North Carolina, south through Florida and north to Kentucky. Laurel wilt is expected to continue spreading through sassafras in the eastern US, and is a potential threat to California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) in the western US and to lauraceous species elsewhere in the world.

  • Citation: Mayfield, A.E.; Fraedrich, S.W.; and Merten,P. 2019. Laurel Wilt. Pest Alert R8-PR-01-19. U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Private Forestry, Southern Region. 2 p.
  • Posted Date: October 24, 2019
  • Modified Date: November 25, 2019
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