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For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2012
Media Contact:
Alejandra Castro-Nuñez

Teresa Olczyk


Extension to host workshop to address disease threatening avocado trees

(MIAMI, May 24, 2012) – The Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) will host a workshop to address new updates on Laurel Wilt Disease. Laurel wilt is a destructive disease transmitted by the insect called redbay ambrosia beetle into trees in the laurel family including redbay, swamp bay and avocado.  

Last year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS) confirmed the presence of laurel wilt disease on an avocado tree in a commercial grove in South Miami-Dade County.  Laurel wilt is a very serious threat to the avocado groves, the largest tropical fruit industry in Miami-Dade County, producing avocados on close to 7,000 acres with the economic impact of nearly $13 million. At the wholesale end of the market, the Florida avocado industry is worth about $30 million per year.  Approximately 85 percent of the avocado crop is sold outside of the state, bringing a large amount of “new dollars" to Florida. An overall economic impact of avocado industry is approximately $54 million annually.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., at the Miami-Dade County Extension Office (Ag. Center) located at 18710 SW 288 Street in Homestead, Florida.

During the workshop, experts will address the recent laurel wilt and redbay ambrosia beetle detections in the avocado groves and urban areas and will provide updates on scouting and tree monitoring; sampling trees for the symptoms of laurel wilt; recommendations for disposal of infected trees and recommendations on control of redbay ambrosia beetle and laurel wilt disease.

For information on Florida friendly landscaping, visit the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods website.

Miami Dade County Cooperative Extension
UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Workshop about Laurel Wilt Disease
May 24, 2012, 6:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
Miami-Dade County Extension (Ag. Center)
18710 SW 288 Street, Homestead, FL 33030