Christmas Tree Promotion Board

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Spotted Lanternfly: A New Exotic Pest Threatening the Mid-Atlantic Christmas Tree Market

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White), is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, Vietnam. It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in Berks County and has spread to other counties in the southeast portion of the Commonwealth. This insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops such as grapes, hops, and hardwoods. It is also reducing the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas. SLF does not appear to prefer conifer species commonly used for cut Christmas trees. These species, namely Fraser fir, Douglas-fir, Canaan fir, Balsam fir, and Concolor fir and Colorado spruce also do not appear to be desireable locations for SLF egg laying. Despite this anecdotal evidence, negative media reports during Fall 2018 indicated that SLF was a concern for homeowners bringing cut Christmas trees into their homes. The goal of this project is to develop, present and disseminate fact-based SLF educational material to media outlets, growers, and public officials. Educational meeting specifically for Christmas tree growers will be developed and delivered within the SLF quarantine zone as well as in surrounding states. Research will be conducted to document the gestation period from egg laying to hatch in order to gauge and document the potential threat of introducing the pest into homes during Christmas tree display.

Short Description

This project developed, presented and disseminate fact-based SLF educational material to media outlets, growers, and public officials. Educational meeting specifically for Christmas tree growers were developed and delivered within the SLF quarantine zone as well as in surrounding states. The gestation period from egg laying to hatch was investigated in order to gauge and document the potential threat of introducing the pest into homes during Christmas tree display.