Distribution, predictors, and impacts of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)(Coleoptera: Buprestidae) infestation of white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)

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Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Fairmaire), is an invasive pest of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America that was recently found infesting white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus L.). Initial reports of the infestation of white fringetree by emerald ash borer occurred in southwestern Ohio and Chicago, IL. We examined white fringetrees at additional sites in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in Summer and Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 for emerald ash borer infestation. Our aim was to examine white fringetrees at a limited number of sites with emerald ash borer infestation and to relate tree size, crown dieback, epicormic sprouting, tree sex, and adjacency to ash or white fringetrees with the likelihood of beetle infestation. A higher proportion of infested trees exhibited epicormic sprouting and the likelihood that a tree was infested increased with increasing crown dieback, variables that may be both predictors and responses to attack. The proportion of trees infested with emerald ash borer increased with increasing tree size. Signs consistent with emerald ash borer infestation were found in 26% of 178 white fringetrees, with at least one host infested at each site in all states. Infestation rates of white fringetrees increased with the density of white fringetrees at each site. The Chicago Botanic Garden site had a significantly lower infestation (3.7%) than other sites, which may be due to proactive management of ash. Overall, these data indicate white fringetree has been utilized by emerald ash borer throughout their overlapping ranges in the United States in ornamental settings likely due to ecological fitting.



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