The apple buprestid, Agrilus mali Matsumura, that was widespread in north-eastern China, was accidently introduced to the wild apple forest ecosystem in mountainous areas of Xinjiang, China. This invasive beetle feeds on domesticated apples and many species of Malus and presents a serious threat to ancestral apple germplasm sources and apple production worldwide. Estimating the potential area at risk of colonization by A. mali is crucial for instigating appropriate preventative management strategies, especially under global warming. We developed a CLIMEX model of A. mali to project this pest's potential distribution under current and future climatic scenarios in 2100 using CSIRO-Mk 3.0 GCM running the SRES A1B emissions scenario. Under current climate, A. mali could potentially invade neighbouring central Asia and eventually the mid-latitude temperate zone, and some subtropical areas and Pampas Steppe in the Southern Hemisphere. This potential distribution encompasses wild apples species, the ancestral germplasm for domesticated apples. With global warming, the potential distribution shifts to higher latitudes, with the potential range expanding slightly, though the overall suitability could decline in both hemispheres. In 2100, the length of the growing season of this pest in the mid-latitude temperature zone could increase by 1–2 weeks, with higher growth rates in most sites compared with current climate in mid-latitudes, at least in China. Our work highlights the need for strategies to prevent the spread of this pest, managing the threats to wild apples in Tian Shan Mountain forests in Central Asia, and commercial apple production globally. We discuss practical management tactics to reduce the spread of this pest and mitigate its impacts.