Beetle suspect in deaths of red bay trees

February 27, 2006

Red bay trees across the southern United States are being threatened by a fungus introduced into the trees' stems by Asian Ambrosia beetles.

Experts tell the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville they fear the fungus delivered by the beetles might wipe out one of the South's most common trees and create dangerous conditions presented by falling trees and the ecological harm to creatures dependent on the trees.

Florida Forest Entomologist Bud Mayfield told the newspaper red bay trees are in the same family of trees as avocado and sassafras. Environmental officials are reportedly investigating whether the beetle is also involved in the recent death of some sassafras trees in Georgia.

The Asian Ambrosia beetle -- Xyleborus glabratus -- smaller than a match head, is a species of exotic bark beetle native to South Asia and first found in Georgia in 2002, the newspaper said. The beetles are believed to have reached the United States in packing crates and pallets.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Dead trees don't fuel megafires

Related Stories

Dead trees don't fuel megafires

August 12, 2016

In the western United States, warming temperatures and insects like pine beetles and bark beetles have killed trees across more than half a million square kilometers of forest in recent decades, leading to widespread concern ...

Dead trees, dry earth: Western US a tinderbox

June 18, 2016

Tens of millions of dead trees, record temperatures in June and persistent drought can only mean one thing for the American West this fire season: it's going to be a tinderbox.

Landsat—The watchman that never sleeps

July 19, 2016

In western North America, mountain pine beetles infest and ravage thousands of acres of forest lands. Landsat satellites bear witness to the onslaught in a way that neither humans nor most other satellites can.

Vaccine stops Dutch elm disease

June 20, 2016

Since 1992 over half a million Dutch elms have been 'vaccinated' against Dutch elm disease. Among these vaccinated trees, only 0.1% was infected by the fungus via the infamous elm bark beetle over recent years. The Wageningen ...

Recommended for you

Smarter brains are blood-thirsty brains

August 30, 2016

A University of Adelaide-led project has overturned the theory that the evolution of human intelligence was simply related to the size of the brain—but rather linked more closely to the supply of blood to the brain.

Theorists solve a long-standing fundamental problem

August 30, 2016

Trying to understand a system of atoms is like herding gnats - the individual atoms are never at rest and are constantly moving and interacting. When it comes to trying to model the properties and behavior of these kinds ...

Reconstructing the sixth century plague from a victim

August 30, 2016

Before the infamous Black Death, the first great plague epidemic was the Justinian plague, which, over the course of two centuries, wiped out up to an estimated 50 million (15 percent) of the world's population throughout ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.