New Diseases that threaten or have been detected in South Carolina

Citrus Greening

Citrus greening (CG, also known as Huanglongbing or HLB) is caused by the pathogen 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus'.  In 2005, this disease was detected in Florida. In 2009, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) confirmed citrus greening in a leaf sample from a residential property in Charleston, South Carolina.  This was the first confirmation of CG in South Carolina. It has since been detected in Beaufort County. Click the links at the right to learn more.

 

Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut

In 2008, a new disease of black walnut was documented in Colorado.  This disease is a complex which occurs when the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis) carries a fungus (Geosmithia morbida) into walnut branches as it makes its galleries.  Numerous cankers develop on the branches, and because of this, the disease is called “thousand cankers disease” (TCD). In July 2010, TCD was first reported east of the Mississippi in Knoxville, Tennessee.  In order to protect the large native populations of black walnut in the eastern US, surveys were conducted in various states and in 2011, TCD was found in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Department of Plant Industry has been surveying, but the disease has not been detected in South Carolina. If black walnuts on your property are declining, contact the Plant Problem Clinic or your local Department of Plant Industry Inspector immediately.  Click the link at the right to learn more.

 

Boxwood Blight

Boxwood Blight, a new disease of boxwood (Buxus species), was detected in Virginia, North Carolina and many other states in 2011. This disease is caused by the fungus Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum. Infected boxwoods in both nurseries and landscapes exhibit leaf spots, black stem cankers, defoliation and death. It has not been detected in South Carolina, but we will be on the lookout for this disease. Click the link at the right to learn more and to see photographs of the disease symptoms.  If boxwoods on your property have similar symptoms, contact the Plant Problem Clinic or your local Department of Plant Industry Inspector immediately.  Before sending samples, make sure your shrubs are indeed boxwoods and not Japanese hollies.

Laurel Wilt

This is a vascular wilt disease of red bay (Persea borbonia) vectored by an Asian ambrosia beetle. The epidemic first started in 2003, and since then, much of our native red bay has been killed by this disease. Click the link at the right to learn more.

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline - a Threat to our State Tree

A new lethal disease of cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), our state tree, was detected in Florida in 2008. This disease is caused by a bacteria-like pathogen called a phytoplasma. It has not been detected in South Carolina palms. Click the link at the right to see symptoms on cabbage palm and to learn more about this disease.