We compared the incidence of infestation by emerald ash borer (EAB) and lilac borer on white fringetree to that of its Asian congener, Chinese fringetree, Chionanthus retusus, and a North American relative, devilwood, Osmanthus americanus. We also conducted laboratory bioassays to determine the suitability of these hosts for EAB larvae. At Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio, 9 of 28 white fringetrees examined were infested by EAB. Most of the white fringetrees had lilac borer infestation, and most of the trees infested by EAB also had lilac borer infestation. None of the 11 Chinese fringetrees examined were infested by either EAB or lilac borer. Each of the five devilwood individuals examined was infested by lilac borer, but not EAB. At The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, 7 of 16 white fringetrees examined were infested by EAB, while none of the seven Chinese fringetrees examined were infested by either insect. A 40-d bioassay confirmed that white fringetree was an acceptable host, producing fourth-instar larvae that were smaller than those produced on a highly susceptible cultivar of green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica. No larvae survived on Chinese fringetree, and neonates were largely incapable of feeding on it. Two larvae survived on devilwood, reaching the second instar and excavating extensive galleries. Future work should be aimed at biotic and abiotic factors influencing the susceptibility of white fringetree, as well as further examination of close relatives for their vulnerability to EAB.
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Vol. 44 • No. 5