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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 49, Issue 1 — January 2023

Efficacy of Propiconazole for Prevention of Sassafras Mortality from Laurel Wilt Disease Using a Tree Micro-Injection and Micro-Infusion Delivery System

C.W. Johnson, R.O. Olatinwo, J. Hwang, and C. Brownie

Abstract: Laurel wilt is a lethal disease of American Lauraceae caused by Harringtonia lauricola. Propiconazole is a systemic fungicide which arrests fungal growth among a variety of plant hosts. Propiconazole as a preventive treatment against laurel wilt in sassafras (Sassafras albidum) has not been evaluated. We treated sassafras trees with propiconazole using the Arborjet QUIK-jetŪ Micro-InjectionTM and TREE I.V. Micro-InfusionTM systems (Arborjet,Inc., Woburn, MA, USA) and challenged trees by inoculating them with H. lauricola. Out of 7 trees treated using the QUIK-jet Micro-Injection system, 6 (86%) survived 52 or more weeks following inoculation with H. lauricola, while only 11% of inoculated control trees (1 of 9) survived over this period. All trees not damaged by hurricanes (n = 13) treated with propiconazole using the TREE I.V. Micro-Infusion system survived signifi cantly longer than untreated control trees after inoculation with H. lauricola; 10 of 13 trees (77%) survived with < 50% crown loss, and 8 of 13 trees (62%) appeared entirely healthy 54 weeks post-inoculation. In the TREE I.V. Micro-Infusion system trial, 15 of 19 control trees (79%) had either died or lost = 50% of living crown 54 weeks post-inoculation with H. lauricola. Results indicate sassafras trees treated with propiconazole using the Arborjet QUIK-jet Micro-Injection and TREE I.V. Micro-Infusion systems are significantly less likely to die within one year of infection with H. lauricola; however some trees may exhibit signifi cant crown decline (= 50%) over this period.

Keywords: Ambrosia Beetle; Bioassay; Fungicide Infusion; Fungicide Injection; Harringtonia lauricola; Propiconazole; Raffaelea lauricola; Redbay; Sassafras albidum; Xyleborus glabratus

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