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USDA adds seven (7) Georgia counties to the Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Area

On February 22, 2016 The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added Barrow, Cherokee, Douglas, Fannin, Habersham, Murray, and White Counties in Georgia to the list of regulated areas for the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The Federal Quarantine specifically regulates the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas in Georgia including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species.


There are now 19 Georgia counties under the EAB Regulatory Quarantine. See The Georgia Forestry Commission or Georgia Department of Agriculture website for a map and list of the regulated Georgia counties and for information about EAB identification, damage symptoms, photographs, life cycle and quarantine regulations.


The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native and highly invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 25 states and in Canada since it was first discovered near Detroit, Michigan in 2002.  It is thought that EAB was accidently introduced into the U.S. from Southeast Asia in infested shipping containers and materials. EAB kills both vigorously growing and weakened ash trees.

Invasive species alert (Georgia) – Brazilian Pepper

Brazilian Pepper has been found in Georgia! This is the first known reporting of this species in the state. The Coastal Georgia CISMA’s SCA intern Gabby Phillips discovered the plant on the entrance to the Jekyll Island Causeway last week. See our EDDMapS record for pictures Attached is an info sheet if you are unfamiliar with this species. We will be treating the site this Thursday with the Jekyll Island Authority and the Georgia Forestry Commission.  Now that it is in Georgia we will be ramping up detection of this species so be on the lookout for it.


Eamonn Leonard

Natural Resources Biologist

GA DNR Nongame Conserv. Sec.

Boxwood blight found in GA – Disease Alert

This past week I confirmed GA’s first case of Boxwood blight in a residential landscape in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. I then visited a second Buckhead site and it too had boxwood blight.


Boxwood blight is not a federal or state regulated disease. It is however, a very devastating disease for landscapers and boxwood growers. The disease spreads quickly and easily. It is often introduced into nurseries and landscapes on infected plants; however, in one of the infected sites, the disease cannot be traced back to an introduced plant. The landscape was likely infected by workers pruning boxwoods or installing annual flowers within the landscape bed. This means that there are likely other landscapes that are infected that we don’t know about yet. The second landscape consisted of field- and container-grown plants originating from NC that were transplanted within the past two months. Almost all of the plants (100+) showed symptoms to some extent.


Also, last week infected boxwoods originating from Monrovia Nursery in Oregon were found in a retail garden center in Chattanooga, TN. All but 25 plants were recovered from that location. It is likely that some of these plants or other shipments from the same nursery have ended up in GA. As of yet, we have not found boxwood blight in any commercial production nursery in the state.


I wrote a disease alert/fact sheet for the industry on boxwood blight. You can access it here:


Be extra cautious about boxwood samples. We have seen a lot of dieback in boxwood across the state from winter injury, Phytophthora root disease, and Volutella blight. Boxwood blight symptoms usually develop rapidly. Leaf spots can develop within days of inoculation progressing to blackening of the stems, foliage death, and leaf drop within two weeks. However, much of the state has been dry and the disease progression within the Atlanta landscapes has been slower. Moisture is the key. If we enter into a period of late afternoon thunderstorms and high humidity, disease progression will be quicker.


There is no control for this disease other than removal of infected plants and strict sanitation to reduce disease spread. Fungicides are only preventative. They are ineffective in controlling the disease once present.

UGA Extension Plant Pathology Report for October

The Extension Plant Pathology for October is now available and has been posted here:

The October issue contains:
  • Disease clinic report for September 2013
  • Table of samples diagnosed a year ago in November 2012
  • Anthracnose on pepper alert
  • Vegetable spray guides and efficacy tables are posted online
  • Dollar spot is still active
  • Yellow bentgrass
  • Bipolaris leaf spot on bermudagrass
  • Summary of fungicides recently registered for ornamental disease control
  • Rosellinia needle blight on hemlock
Past Extension Plant Pathology Updates are archived here:
I hope you find this information useful. Comments, questions, and/or ideas for improvement are always welcome.

“Exotics versus Natives: the Battle Goes on!” sponsored by the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council

The GA-EPPC, Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council, invites you to the Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 6th, 2013, from 8:30am to 5:00pm. The conference will be held at Middle Georgia State College,Professional Sciences Center – West Campus, Macon GA.
GA-EPPC’s goals are to focus attention on the adverse effects exotic pest plants have on the diversity of Georgia’s native plants and animals; the use of exotic pest plant management to prevent habitat loss; the socioeconomic impacts of these plants; changes in the seriousness of the different exotic pest plants over time and the need to exchange information which helps land owners and managers set priorities for exotic pest plants management.
The keynote message “The Population Biology of Exotic Species: Where is the Management Message?” will be delivered by Dr. Julie Lockwood from Rutgers University.
Our exciting program does not end there—Dr. Doria Gordon, University of Florida, will review the accuracy of risk assessments and discuss their application to species considered for bioenergy crops or other uses.  Dr. Kris Braman, University of Georgia, will talk about her research into improving the sustainability of landscape pest management through integrating natural enemies and alternative control technologies into IPM.  Eamonn Leonard will share details of Georgia Department of Natural Resources involvement in organizing coastal Georgia cooperative invasive species management areas (CISMAs). Dr. Leslie Edwards from Georgia State University will discuss her latest book “Natural Communities of Georgia”.
Vendors present at the conference will be: Trillium Gardens, Nearly Native Nursery, Georgia Forestry Commission, The Longleaf Alliance, Dow-Agro Science, Invasive Plant Control, GA-EEPC and Bugwood (Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia).
Do not miss this important educational opportunity and join us on November 6th!
Pre-registration is required Registration fee is $75 and includes lunch, refreshments, and door prizes. 4 CEU credits for each of the categories 24, 26, and 27 also will be available or 10 private credit hours. To register go to:
For more information go to:

UGA – September Extension Plant Pathology Update

The September Extension Plant Pathology Update is available here:
Topics included are:
  • Disease clinic report for July and August 2013
  • Table of disease samples diagnosed in September and October a year ago (2012)
  • Turfgrass Disease Control: Emphasis on fall activities
    • Bipolaris leaf and crown rot
    • Large Patch
    • Spring Dead Spot
  • Fairy rings in turfgrass
  • Methods to maximize efficacy of turfgrass fungicides
  • Update on three ornamental/tree diseases of concern: Where are they now?
    • Sudden Oak Death
    • Thousand Cankers Disease
    • Boxwood Blight
  • Disease management for row crops nears end for 2013: What’s next?
Past Extension Plant Pathology Updates are archived here:
As always, comments and suggestions for improvement are always welcome! I hope you find this information useful.