Great Lakes Expo chestnut session to address invasive gall wasp

The chestnut session at the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo on Dec. 8 will cover the current status of Asian chestnut gall wasp in Michigan.

Asian chestnut gall wasp newly emerged from a gall formed at the base of chestnut leaf petioles. Asian chestnut gall wasps are very small. The female pictured here is just 3 millimeters in length. Photo credit: Erin Lizotte, MSU Extension

Asian chestnut gall wasp newly emerged from a gall formed at the base of chestnut leaf petioles. Asian chestnut gall wasps are very small. The female pictured here is just 3 millimeters in length. Photo credit: Erin Lizotte, MSU Extension

Asian chestnut gall (Dryocosmus kuriphilus) is a potentially devastating invasive pest that can infest all species in the genus Castanea including American chestnut, ornamental chestnut species and those planted for nut production. The Asian chestnut gall wasp is native to Asia and was first reported in the United States in 1974. Asian chestnut gall wasp was observed on Chinese chestnut trees in Georgia after it was introduced on imported plant material. Over time, the geographic range has expanded. Asian chestnut gall wasp is now established in Virginia (2001), Ohio (2002), Kentucky (2003), Maryland and Pennsylvania (2006), Connecticut (2011), Massachusetts and Ontario (2012). Asian chestnut gall wasp has continued to spread across eastern North America by natural dispersal and movement of infested plant material. Asian chestnut gall wasp was confirmed in Michigan in June 2015.

To begin addressing this pest, Michigan State University Extension has coordinated a session at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Devos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The session will include a review of the current status of Asian chestnut gall wasp in Michigan and insight from Lynne Rieske-Kinney, University of Kentucky Department of Entomology.

MSU Extension encourages attendees to register for the Expo online and reserve hotel rooms as soon as possible. For more information, please refer to the Great Lakes Expo Conference Brochure.

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