Asked on Jan 28, 2012

Laurel wilt in a red bay

Sue KieneFarley PDouglas Hunt


I had an arborist come out yesterday to take a look my trees and when he saw that I had a red bay he immediately recommended that I start innoculating it against laurel wilt, a procedure that will cost nearly $300 and that has to be repeated annually. I don't really want to lose the tree, but that's a very steep price to pay, so I'm wondering what really are the chances of a single tree in a residential setting getting infected.
8 answers
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jan 28, 2012

    I don't have an answer for your question. What I would calculate is the value of the tree, and how long you are willing to pay annually to keep that one alive. How mature it your tree ? You will have almost $1,000 in three years time invested in the tree. I love trees, but that is a lot of money to keep it alive, unless you have GREAT sentimental value. And that is an insurance policy against one disease. It doesn't meant it will be protected against other acts of nature, pests or even other diseases. The sun if finally shining here so I am going outside to enjoy it! (Well actually I have a lot of nursery chores that I have been waiting to do !)

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jan 29, 2012

    Very good points, 4S. I have no sentimental attachment to the tree, but it is large and providing some nice shade under which to stretch a hammock. I was actually so shocked by the prices I got from the first guy that I got a second opinion yesterday, and think I may be able to do a little bit to protect the red bay population without filing for bankruptcy.

    • Old_clockguy
      on May 10, 2016

      @Douglas Hunt My first impression is, how do you suppose that red bay got to be a full grown tree in the first place?? This sounds like an arborist who found a guy who he thinks will be a soft touch for an annual $300 to save a tree that probably doesn't need much saving. If it lived and thrived for this many years, I would go out and pat it on its trunk and give it a fertilizer treat and tell it what a nice tree it has grown up to be. My trees seem to like little compliments once in awhile.

  • Anna K
    on Jan 29, 2012

    injections are also damaging to a tree, i would plant a couple more trees of different varieties to make it less of an impact if /when you loose your red bay tree. the best protection (as i am sure you know) is to keep your tree happy and healthy. also if there aren't any more of these trees nearby, your tree is much safer.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jan 30, 2012

    I hadn't thought about the damage from injections, Anna. I don't know of any infected trees in my immediate vicinity, but a few miles north in Daytona whole stands have been wiped out.

  • Farley P
    on Feb 26, 2013 name is Farley Palmer with Palmer Biological Services, LLC. I've treated 70 trees in New Smyrna (I live Beachside). The treatment is viable for two years based on current research and is the only effective method for protecting Red Bay trees. Feel free to give me a call at 386-314-5718 and I'll provide you with all the details, Farley

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 26, 2013

    Welcome to Hometalk, @Farley P. Great to have another New Smyrnan here ( I live beachside as well). I found someone other than the above-mentioned person to treat the tree at a more reasonable price and began treatments last year. So far so good, and fingers crossed.

  • Farley P
    on Feb 27, 2013

    Great...glad you got it done. Let me know if I can help in any way, Farley

  • Sue Kiene
    on Apr 30, 2016

    I had never heard of a red bay tree . Sounds like the beetle that spread the fungus that kills the trees is a real issue. Rather like the ash bore and dutch el issues we have had up north here. Was funny to come home one day to find a note on my door that the Michigan Forestry Service had been there checking trees and that all of my ash trees were healthy. Funny because I had no ash trees on my property. Several of my neighbors did have and they did die. The borers came over and got into a half dozen trees (all the same kind) that ran along my driveway and within 6 months of the neighbors trees dying I lost all of them.

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