How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Cherry

Crown Gall

Pathogen: Agrobacterium tumefaciens

(Reviewed 11/09, updated 11/09)

In this Guideline:


Symptoms and Signs

Rough, abnormal galls develop on roots or trunk. Galls are not hard, but soft and spongy. The centers of older galls decay. Young trees become stunted; older trees often develop secondary wood rots.

Comments on the Disease

The bacteria survive in gall tissue and in soil. They enter only through wounds. Crown gall is most damaging to young trees, either in the nursery or in new plantings.

Management

The incidence of crown gall can be reduced by planting noninfected, "clean" trees. It is also important to carefully handle trees to avoid injury as much as possible, both at planting and during the life of the tree in the orchard (generally 18 to 20 years). Preplant, preventive dips or sprays with a biological control agent are available and may be helpful in some orchards. Generally, by the time crown gall is evident in a cherry orchard, it is usually best to tolerate the problem for the few remaining years of orchard life, which is about 12 to 15 years, or just remove the orchard and start anew.

When replanting a previously affected site, remove as many of the old tree roots as possible, grow a grass rotation crop to help degrade leftover host material and reduce pathogen levels, and offset the new trees from the previous tree spacing to minimize contact of healthy new roots with any infested roots that may remain.

Common name Amount per acre R.E.I.‡ P.H.I.‡
(trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
 
When choosing a pesticide, consider its usefulness in an IPM program by reviewing the pesticide's properties, efficacy, application timing, and information relating to resistance management, honey bees (PDF), and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being listed.
 
A. AGROBACTERIUM RADIOBACTER-84#
  (Galltrol) Label rates 12 0
  COMMENTS: Preplant treatment only that is best done at the nursery shortly after digging trees. This is a living organism; store according to label directions and do not mix with disinfectants.
 
B. XYLENOL/M-CRESOL
  (Gallex) Label rates 0 0
  COMMENTS: For removal of existing galls, apply winter through spring.
 
Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.  
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.  

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Cherry
UC ANR Publication 3440

Diseases

  • J. E. Adaskaveg, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
  • J. L. Caprile, UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
  • W. D. Gubler, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
  • B. L. Teviotdale, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

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