Regulatory Concern: Diseases & Pests

Citrus Greening

Citrus Greening (also known as CG, 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 now been detected in Beaufort, Charleston and Colleton counties. For more information about Citrus Greening, click here.

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 referred to as “Thousand Cankers Disease” (TCD). In July 2010, Thousand Cankers Disease was first reported east of the Mississippi in Knoxville, Tennessee.  In order to protect the large native populations of black walnut in the eastern United States, surveys were conducted in various states, and in 2011 Thousand Cankers Disease was found in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Clemson University 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 and Pest Diagnostic Clinic or your local Department of Plant Industry Inspector immediately. For more information about Thousand Cankers Disease, click here.

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 been detected in South Carolina in Florence County. If boxwoods on your property have similar symptoms, contact the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic or your local Department of Plant Industry Inspector immediately.  Before sending samples, make sure your shrubs are indeed boxwoods and not Japanese hollies. For more information about Boxwood Blight, click here.

Laurel Wilt

This is a vascular wilt disease of red bay (Persea borbonia) vectored, or spread, 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. It has been detected in about half of the counties in South Carolina, in the midlands and coastal areas. For more information on Laurel Wilt, refer to The Nature Conservancy's 'Don't Move Firewood' website by clicking here.

Date Palm Lethal Decline - a threat to our South Carolina State Tree

A new, lethal disease of cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), our state tree, was detected in Florida in 2008. It has also been called Texas Phoenix Palm Decline. This disease is caused by a bacteria-like pathogen called a phytoplasma. It has not yet been detected in South Carolina palms. For more information on Date Palm Lethal Decline, refer to information published by Texas A&M University by clicking here.