Sugarberry dieback and mortality
Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) is a common native tree up to 80 ft tall that is found throughout much of the South, ranging from southeastern Virginia to South Florida and west to central Texas. High rates of sugarberry mortality were first reported in Columbia, South Carolina in 2009. The issue has since expanded westward beyond the Savannah River and eastward to the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia (Fig. 1). Although mortality is most conspicuous in urban and residential areas, large numbers of sugarberry are dying in forested areas as well. This is by far the most severe and widespread episode of Celtis mortality known from the United States and the cause remains unknown.