Monday, December 11, 2006

Economic impact of bacterial leaf scorch in the New Jersey urban forest

Ann Gould, gould@aesop.rutgers.edu1, George C. Hamilton, hamilton@aesop.rutgers.edu2, Mark Vodak, vodak@aesop.rutgers.edu3, Jason Grabosky, grabosky@aesop.rutgers.edu3, and James Lashomb, lashomb@rci.rutgers.edu2. (1) Rutgers University, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, 59 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ, (2) Rutgers University, Department of Entomology, 93 Lipman Dr, New Brunswick, NJ, (3) Rutgers University, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, 14 College Farm Rd, New Brunswick, NJ

Bacterial leaf scorch (BLS) of shade trees, a vascular disease introduced to the northeastern U.S., has reached epidemic proportions in susceptible trees throughout the region.  In New Jersey, the disease is widespread and has increased in incidence for trees in the red oak group in urban communities, parks, and golf courses.  The causal agent of BLS, Xylella fastidiosa, is vectored by xylophage insects (Cicadomorpha: Order Hempitera).  In 2002-2005 surveys, as many as 44% of oaks in several New Jersey municipalities were affected by BLS.  Considering that the red oak group comprises 25-35% of the total street tree resource, surveyed communities will be expected to sustain losses up to $1.8 million within the next 5 to 10 years.  With no current cost-effective rescue technology, arborists are forced to remove trees to prevent liabilities that may result from falling branches in declining trees. 

Species 1: Hemiptera