Link to home

Verticillium Wilt of Ailanthus altissima: Susceptibility of Associated Tree Species

November 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  11
Pages  1,158 - 1,162

Mark J. Schall and Donald D. Davis, Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 13 July 2009.

Verticillium albo-atrum causes unprecedented wilt and mortality of the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) within forests of south-central Pennsylvania. Stem inoculation of potted Ailanthus seedlings in the greenhouse and canopy Ailanthus trees in the field with V. albo-atrum resulted in 100% mortality. Stem inoculation of understory striped maple saplings in the field also resulted in 100% mortality. However, the high susceptibility of striped maple was not observed in naturally infected stands, where only 1% of striped maple saplings exhibited Verticillium wilt. Inoculation of chestnut oak, northern red oak, red maple, sugar maple, white ash, and yellow-poplar seedlings or canopy trees with V. albo-atrum did not induce wilt symptoms. Non-Ailanthus tree species growing adjacent to dead and dying Ailanthus trees in the field were asymptomatic. Pending further studies, V. albo-atrum should be considered as a potential biocontrol agent for invasive Ailanthus.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society