USDA Forest Service

Forest Health Protection, Southern Region

Forest Service Headquarters
FHP Headquarters
Southern Region
State and Private Forestry
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USDA Forest Service
Forest Health Protection
Region 8
1720 Peachtree Road, NW
Room 816 N
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: (404) 347-7478
Fax: (404) 347-1880

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Florida Forest Service USDA-APHIS Georgia Forestry Commission South Carolina Forestry Commission USDA Forest Service

Laurel Wilt

Wood Movement Issues

Numerous examples of apparent human assisted long distance spread of laurel wilt disease have been documented and additional spread through movement of infested host material can be expected. Efforts to prevent the long-distance, human-assisted spread of the RAB and laurel wilt pathogen could help delay the onset of laurel wilt impacts in currently unaffected areas, possibly allowing more time for new management tactics to be developed. Limitations on long-distance dispersal could include:

  • Restrict the transport of firewood, logs, mulch, and other unprocessed wood of redbay or other known hosts, out of counties (or other designated areas) in which laurel wilt is known to occur.
  • Dispose of wood from killed redbays and other lauraceous hosts as locally as possible.

Several state agricultural and forestry agencies have initiated programs aimed at educating the public about the devastation caused by laurel wilt disease and how it is spread. These initiatives are primarily focused on limiting the movement of infested firewood and other potentially infested/infected woody plant materials on a voluntary basis through public service announcements, posters, presentations and individual contacts.


Although movement of nursery plants is not yet a documented pathway by which laurel wilt has spread , the following pre-emptive measures certainly merit further consideration:

Periodically inspect field or container nurseries that sell lauraceous plants for laurel wilt symptoms and RAB infestations, particularly in areas where laurel wilt is known to occur. Shipment of stock from nurseries with the RAB would only be a problem if the beetle were in or on the nursery stock. Consider adopting an insect/disease-free certification program for lauraceous plants in nurseries prior to shipment. If the movement of infested nursery stock becomes a documented pathway of RAB, consider limiting the movement of nursery plants of known host species out of designated areas in which laurel wilt occurs (Mayfield et al. 2009).


Additional Information



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USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, Southern Region
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:30 CST

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