22 July 2020
While infestation of backyard avocado trees has been confirmed in Sandton and Knysna, to date the PSHB has not yet been observed in commercial avocado orchards in South Africa (Van den Berg et al 2019).
Tree gore from the borer
The only commercial crop on which the PSHB has been detected to date is pecan, though early indications suggest the impact on this tree species may not be severe. Other fruit trees in private gardens on which it has been found include lemon, orange, guava, peach, and grapevine. At this point, however, there is no evidence suggesting that the PSHB poses a threat to these crops, but producers should carefully monitor and report any infestations.
The polyphagous shot hole borer is nuts about pecan trees.
In addition to agriculture, commercial forestry is another sector that is concerned. We have only found small numbers of roadside wattle trees with PSHB infestations in the Southern Cape, with a single roadside eucalyptus tree infested in Sandton. No trees in commercial plantations, including pines, have been detected with the PSHB in South Africa.