Polyphagous shot hole borer

Well, will you look at that. It’s been 2 years since I last blogged. Time flies when you’re focused on other things in life. Anyway…

Hopefully you have heard about the the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) which has found its way to the tree-lined streets and gardens of Johannesburg, posing a very genuine threat to our “man-made forest”.

I’m not going to repeat the information that already exists on many sites and forums online for you here though. I am however going to compile and maintain a list of links and info that I personally find relevant*. I was starting to do this anyway in order to learn more and to have all the info I need in one place to reference, and then I figured I may as well do it online in a place where you can use it too, should you so wish. And what better spot than my (almost defunct) blog?! (Also, hopefully it adds one more link to the Googleverse which one more person might see thereby raising that one little bit more awareness.)

So without further ado…

3 primary (official?) resources:


Web: http://polyphagous-shot-hole-borer.co.za/ I stand to be corrected, but I suspect the wonderful people behind JUFA created both this and the tree survey site/app.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Johannesburg Urban Forest Alliance (JUFA)

Web: http://www.jufa.org.za/pshb.html

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter (Info about PSHB comes up pretty often on their twitter account, but if you are into trees, forests and urban nature in general, I recommend following them.)

Forestry & Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)

Web: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/index.php/research/7

FABI does have social media channels, but PSHB info on their Twitter feed is mostly retweets of info from Fungal biologist Wilhelm de Beer and their Facebook presence is a group that appears to be more company focused. Personally, I’d rather just follow the man who very clearly knows a lot:  Mr de Beer.

Other sites of interest:

Social media-related info:

People to follow:

Wilhelm de Beer  (@zwdebeer)
Fungal biologist, taxonomist, lecturer, husband & father.

Useful hashtags:

#PSHB, #PolyphagousShotHoleBorer, #shotholeborer


List of affected trees:

The most comprehensive list of affected trees is currently on the FABI website.
However for a newbie tree-learner like me, I still need to figure out what tree it is, never mind if it’s infected. For that I need a handy list of links for the actual trees. I shall focus on the primary ones (reproductive hosts) as listed on PSHB.co.za


Forest bushwillow (Combretum kraussii)

Coast coral tree (Erythrina caffra)

Water blossom pea / Sweetpea bush (Podalyria calyptrata)

Fountain bush (Psoralea pinnata)

Cape willow (Salix mucronata)


Trident (Chinese) maple (Acer buergerianum)

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)

Pink flame tree (Brachychiton discolor)

American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Avocado (Persea americana)

London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia)

Pin oak (Quercus palustris)

English Oak (Quercus robur)

White willow (Salix alba)

Exotic and invasive:

Australian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) NEMBA Category 2

Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) NEMBA Category 2 http://www.invasives.org.za/legislation/item/205-black-wattle-acacia-mearnsii

Box elder maple / Ash leaved Maple (Acer negundo) NEBA Category 3

Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) NEMBA Category 1b

Castor bean (Ricinus communis) NEMBA Category 2

Where and how to report it:


This is primarily a personal reference space. If anything is incorrect, please let me know and I will fix it or remove it immediately. I do not claim to be the expert in this issue at all, nor should this blog/reference be seen as an official or fully comprehensive source. While I aim to have up-to-date information and will add and remove to this page continuously as I learn more, I cannot vouch for it’s accuracy. I’m not affiliated with any organisations or initiatives either.

Always contact the scientists and arborists who know best.