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.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 96 • No. 6