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Laural wilt, fungal disease found in Pitt County evergreens

Courtesy N.C. Forestry Service
The red bay ambrosia beetle is an invasive species native to Asia. It's responsible for transmitting the fungal disease.

In Pitt County, the State Forestry Service has detected laurel wilt, a fatal disease, for some evergreens.

The fungal disease attacks trees belonging to the laurel family, a class short-trunked trees and evergreen shrubs, including red bay and sassafras.

Transmitted by the invasive red bay ambrosia beetle, affected trees appear wilted and show black streaks beneath bark.

Laurel wilt was previously detected in the same area near the Pitt-Craven County line in 2022. The forestry service seeks to contain the spread.

Homeowners with downed red bay trees are being asked to keep them on their property and not move them to a landfill or off-site.

Ryan is an Arkansas native and podcast junkie. He was first introduced to public radio during an internship with his hometown NPR station, KUAF. Ryan is a graduate of Tufts University in Somerville, Mass., where he studied political science and led the Tufts Daily, the nation’s smallest independent daily college newspaper. In his spare time, Ryan likes to embroider, attend musicals, and spend time with his fiancée.