Laurel Wilt Disease Spreads To Additional Tennessee Counties

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is advising forest landowners to monitor their sassafras trees after detecting new cases of Laurel Wilt Disease in Robertson and Hamblen Counties. Earlier this year, the disease was detected in trees in Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson and Williamson Counties.

 

“These new detections of this invasive disease show a significant geographic jump across the state,” State Forester David Arnold said.

“This is yet another unfortunate example of an invasive pest impacting our forests. Landowners should take caution to prevent the spread of this disease if detected on their property.”

 

Laurel Wilt is a fungal disease caused by an invasive pathogen, Raffaelea lauricola, which can affect a range of plants, including sassafras and spicebush in Tennessee. The disease is transmitted by the wood-boring redbay ambrosia beetle and prevents the movement of water within the tree. Choked of water, trees wilt and die within a few weeks or months. Currently, no treatment has been developed that can cure laurel wilt disease or protect trees from infection.

 

Sassafras is found in all regions of the state. The wood is often used for small woodworking projects, interior finish, cooperage, and fence posts. The tree is the host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly and is ecologically important.

 

The best way to prevent the spread of Laurel Wilt is to avoid movement of firewood or other untreated timber. Laurel Wilt is most likely in Tennessee due to human movement of contaminated wood. For more information on sourcing disease-free, treated firewood, visit www.firewoodscout.org/s/TN/.

 

If infected, trees should be cut down and chipped to prevent further spread. Chips from the infected tree should be destroyed by burning on site or covered with a tarp to prevent spread of the beetles. Stumps should be ground down to the soil level and no debris of the tree should be transported from the site.

 

Tennesseans are urged to monitor their sassafras trees for browning of leaves, leaf loss, and staining in the inner bark. If you suspect your trees might have Laurel Wilt Disease, contact Forest Health Program Specialist Sam Gildiner at 615-837-5439 or sam.gildiner@tn.gov. TDA Division of Forestry staff will assist in identifying the disease and recommending management actions, if appropriate.

 

The TDA Division of Forestry works to minimize health threats to Tennessee’s forest resources, including mismanagement, insects, and disease. To learn more about how Tennessee manages forest health, visit http://protecttnforests.org/.


Catoosa County Leverages Explore Georgia Grant To Enhance Cloud Springs Canoe Launch With New Pavilions

Comprehensive, Statewide Litter Pollution Study Underway

Kevin VanDam Wins Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four At Lake Chickamauga


Catoosa County’s Parks and Recreation Department announced the enhancement of its Cloud Springs Canoe Launch with new pavilions, barbecue grills and shoreline bench, made possible by leveraging ... (click for more)

The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations voted unanimously, 20 to 0, to begin a comprehensive study of litter pollution in the state. This marks the first fresh progress ... (click for more)

Bass Pro Shops angler Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, promised that MLF NOW!® livestream viewers would see fireworks on Lake Chickamauga, Wednesday, and the man most consider the G.O.A.T. ... (click for more)



Outdoors

Catoosa County Leverages Explore Georgia Grant To Enhance Cloud Springs Canoe Launch With New Pavilions

Catoosa County’s Parks and Recreation Department announced the enhancement of its Cloud Springs Canoe Launch with new pavilions, barbecue grills and shoreline bench, made possible by leveraging a Georgia Department of Economic Development Explore Georgia grant with local matching funds. In 2020, Catoosa County Parks and Recreation applied for and was awarded a $6,000 Explore ... (click for more)

Comprehensive, Statewide Litter Pollution Study Underway

The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations voted unanimously, 20 to 0, to begin a comprehensive study of litter pollution in the state. This marks the first fresh progress on statewide litter control in a generation, supporters said. The study will address topics such as the sources and composition of litter, financial and environmental costs, economic ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Internet Has Been Installed At No Charge In More Than A Third Of County School Students Through EdConnect Program

Less than a year since its launch, HCS EdConnect, Powered by EPB, has installed Internet at no charge in the homes of more than a third of all Hamilton County Schools students, "marking an unprecedented leap in closing the digital divide," officials said. Before the program’s launch, officials estimated that up to one-third of Hamilton County Schools students did not have Internet ... (click for more)

34-Year-Old Man Killed In Shooting Early Saturday Morning Outside The Mapco On Brainerd Road

Billy Burson, 34, was shot and killed early Saturday morning outside the Mapco on Brainerd Road. Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a hold-up alarm at 4711 Brainerd Road at approximately 12:30 a.m. Officers located Burson suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and secured the scene. Hamilton County EMS responded and pronounced Burson deceased on the scene. Investigators ... (click for more)

Opinion

In The Twilight Zone At The School Board

I have a friend who used to say, “I have been to two World’s Fairs and a hog calling contest and I have never seen the beat.” That is exactly the feeling I had after last month’s four-hour marathon School Board meeting. I have been attending school board meetings for the last 20 years and I have never seen another one quite like it. This meeting had it all. For the first time ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 'Survivor' Speaks Here

It’s one thing to tell a loudmouth in Texas he’s “all hat and no cattle.” And it’s altogether another to ask some fellow in an Abilene beer hall “where do you let you wife graze?” Throughout the history of the Lone Star State, there have been many gun fights, differences settled at the OK Corral or The Alamo, but the most heinous scoundrel of all is one who’ll kill another man’s ... (click for more)