Since the discovery in 2017 of the Invasive Shot Hole Borer (Euwallacea whitfordiodendrus) and its fungal symbiont, Fusarium euwallaceae, by FABI1 in KwaZulu-Natal, this ISHB2, with the exception of Limpopo Province, has spread to all provinces in South Africa.

To date, the beetle and fungus symbiont (ISHB) have been identified in 45 exotic and 35 indigenous tree species and has resulted in mortality, dieback or loss in vigour in many of these species.  Although economic, environmental and other non-tangible losses have yet to be quantified, the consequences of the rapid spread and aggressive nature of the beetle-fungus complex are of major concern within the agriculture, forestry, horticulture, conservation and urban forest areas.

The ISHB is spreading rapidly in urban areas and there is every likelihood that many towns and cities in South Africa could lose a significant amount of tree cover within the next 10 years.  Furthermore, allowing the spread of spread of the ISHB from urban and peri urban areas presents a significant threat to the agriculture, horticulture and plantation forestry sectors as well as indigenous forests and woodlands as these areas will provide a continual source of inoculum, exacerbating the dispersion of ISHB.  It is therefore in the national interest to control the ISHB infestation in urban and peri urban.

ISHB cannot be eradicated.  Yet, within a common strategic framework, the rate of spread, distribution and impact of the ISHB within the urban forestry environment can be effectively managed and potentially controlled and its impact on the agriculture and forestry sectors as well as conservation areas limited. 

This requires a cohesive strategic approach to prioritise objectives, effectively manage and mobilise the diverse array of stakeholders, meet their aspirations and implement an integrated management plan.  This document provides a suggested strategic framework and approach as a starting point to manage the ISHB infestation in urban and peri-urban areas as well as acting as a basis for developing similar frameworks for agriculture, forestry and conservation.