Monday, October 7, 2013

A look at laurel wilt damage

A few days ago I wrote a little about Ralph's gardens and mentioned that he lost his mature avocado trees to a blight.

I asked him if it was "laurel wilt" and he wasn't sure. When I mentioned it was spread by a beetle that burrowed into the tree and laid its eggs, leaving behind it a fungus... he said, "Yes. That's exactly what they told me it was. Definitely a beetle."

This is a nasty bug. See these trunks?

That second picture looks like a nice little avocado tree, but that's just the tree trying to return from the ground. A great big canopy will disappear almost overnight in a sudden, irreversible cascade of wilting.

Around my neighborhood we've lost countless native bay trees to this nasty bug.

Here's a closer look.

This is why I haven't bothered buying any avocados to grow in my yard. If the pits I plant grow... great. I'm not spending any more money on trees that are likely to get nailed by horrible diseases.

It's like citrus and greening. The risk just isn't worth it anymore.

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