Team Helps Combat Decline of Guam Ironwood Trees
In 2002, a local farmer noticed several Guam ironwood trees that were planted in a single-row windbreak were dying. By 2005, what became known as Ironwood Tree Decline was widespread across the island, with some sites seeing more than half of their ironwoods in distress.
The University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service’s Plant Health and Pest Management group – along with 11 other agencies – began studying the causes of the tree die-off. Led by Cooperative Extension’s Robert Schlub, the group recently published a 28-page report examining the history of the tree on Guam and its research into the causes of its decline. Support for the research came from many sources, including the Western IPM Center, and led to major advances in understanding the role of bacteria in the decline complex. The report also offers advice on combating Ironwood Tree Decline through tree health care recommendations, including recommendations on site and soil evaluation, trees installation and post-planting care.