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Update on Current Invasive Tree Pests: South American Palm Weevil, Goldspotted Oak Borer and Invasive Shot Hole Borer Fusarium Dieback Disease

  • Casa Del Prado, Rm 101 1600 Village Place San Diego, CA, 92101 United States (map)

with John Kabashim, Jennifer Pelham, and Jan Gonzales
University of California Cooperative Extension

The goldspotted oak borer (Agrilus auroguttatus) (GSOB), South American palm weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) (SAPW) and Invasive shot hole borers/Fusarium dieback disease (Euwallacea sp/Fusarium sp.) (ISHB/FD) are invasive, non-native tree pests causing or contributing to tree mortality in urban, natural and agricultural landscapes throughout the region. Once established in an area, they create significant economic, ecological, cultural and aesthetic losses across public and private land ownerships. Widespread tree mortality impacts wildlife, especially threatened and endangered species, through loss of a food source and habitat; creates potential hazards, especially near dwellings, along roadways, and in recreational areas; may lead to an increase of fuel loads, which can increase the severity of wildfire; and increases green waste management challenges. Additionally alarming are reports by researchers with the USDA Forest Service about the potential costs to multiple ecosystem values and public health from high volume tree mortality.

The goldspotted oak borer continues it’s expansion in San Diego County as well as isolated locations in southern California. The South American palm weevil threatens multi-million dollar industries in the state and a tree species that contributes to California’s unique landscape. At the current rate of infestation, it is estimated that Invasive shot hole borers/fusarium dieback disease will kill 26.8 million trees – nearly 40 percent of the trees in Southern California in the next few years.

Representatives from the University of California Cooperative Extension will provide updates on the latest science and programming status on these three invasive tree pests.

John Kabashima, MBA, Ph.D., Environmental Horticulture Advisor, Emeritus. John’s research and extension programs have included the management of insects, diseases, and weeds in horticulture production systems and urban landscapes, biological control of exotic pests, water use and water use related problems of landscapes and nurseries. John is currently working on the Invasive Polyphagous and Kuroshio Shot-Hole Borers/Fusarium Dieback complex.

Jennifer Pelham has been the Horticulture Advisor with UCCE in San Diego and Orange Counties for the past 11⁄2 years. Previously, she spent 14 years with the University of Florida Extension. She obtained her B.S. from Penn State and two master degrees from the University of Florida, including one in Pest Management. Jennifer is also a Certified Arborist.

Jan Gonzales is a Program Coordinator with the UCCE, San Diego. Beginning in 2005, Jan has provided leadership in developing new education and outreach programs to address local county and regional natural resource challenges. Jan has a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management and a Master’s in Strategic Communications. 


"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Trees But Were Afraid To Ask"


By Mark Wisniewski, Landscape Architect, Independent Consulting Aroborist and Owner of Wisniewski & Associates

7:00pm-7:30pm: A time for discussion, camaraderie, visiting, and enjoying the sales table.


Later Event: July 5
Board Meeting