Translator Disclaimer
1 December 2003 Phenology and Density of Balsam Twig Aphid, Mindarus abietinus Koch (Homoptera: Aphididae) in Relation to Bud Break, Shoot Damage, and Value of Fir Christmas Trees
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The balsam twig aphid, Mindarus abietinus Koch (Homoptera: Aphididae), is a major insect pest of balsam and Fraser fir grown for Christmas trees. Our objectives in this study were to 1) monitor the phenology of M. abietinus in fir plantations; 2) assess relationships among M. abietinus density, tree phenology, and damage to tree foliage; and 3) develop an esthetic injury level for M. abietinus on Christmas trees. We monitored phenology of M. abietinus and fir trees on three commercial Christmas tree plantations in central and northern Lower Michigan for 3 yr (1999–2001). Phenology of M. abietinus fundatrices and sexuparae was strongly correlated with accumulated degree-days (DD) base 10°C. Fundatrices matured by ≈83 DD10°C and sexuparae were first observed at ≈83–111 DD10°C. Trees that broke bud ≈1 wk later than other trees in the same field escaped M. abietinus damage and shoot expansion rate in spring was generally positively correlated with M. abietinus damage. Retail customers surveyed at a choose-and-cut Christmas plantation in 2 yr did not consistently differentiate between similarly sized trees with no, light, and moderate M. abietinus damage, but heavy damage (>50% damaged shoots) did affect customer perception. Similarly, when wholesale grades were assigned, the high quality Grade 1 trees had up to 40% shoot damage, whereas Grade 2 trees had 32–62% shoot damage. Two trees ranked as unsaleable had sparse canopies and distorted needles on 42% to almost 100% of the shoots.

K. M. Fondren and D. G. McCullough "Phenology and Density of Balsam Twig Aphid, Mindarus abietinus Koch (Homoptera: Aphididae) in Relation to Bud Break, Shoot Damage, and Value of Fir Christmas Trees," Journal of Economic Entomology 96(6), 1760-1769, (1 December 2003). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-96.6.1760
Received: 25 April 2003; Accepted: 1 September 2003; Published: 1 December 2003
JOURNAL ARTICLE
10 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top