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UC Pest Management Guidelines


Phytophthora canker on crown and lower trunk.

Plum

Phytophthora Root and Crown Rot

Pathogen: Phytophthora spp.

(Reviewed 5/06, updated 4/09)

In this Guideline:


SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

Symptom expression depends upon how much of the root or crown tissues are affected and how quickly they are destroyed. Generally, crown rots advance rapidly and trees collapse and die soon after the first warm weather of spring. Leaves of such tress wilt, dry, and remain attached to the tree. Chronic infections, usually of the roots, cause reduction in growth and early senescence and leaf fall. These trees may be unthrifty for several years before succumbing to the disease. Phytophthora infections typically kill young trees because their root systems and crown areas are small compared to those of mature trees.

COMMENTS ON THE DISEASE

Periods of 24 hours or more of saturated soil favor Phytophthora infections. Conversely, good soil drainage and more frequent but shorter irrigations reduce the risk of root and crown rot. Rootstocks vary in susceptibility to the different Phytophthora species; none are resistant to all pathogenic species of the fungus. Thus, the success of a rootstock may depend in part upon the species of Phytophthora present in the orchard. In general, plum rootstocks are more resistant than are peach or apricot.

MANAGEMENT

The most effective ways to manage Phytophthora root and crown rot are to select a good planting site, select an appropriate rootstock, and properly manage irrigation water. Avoid overirrigating in spring and fall when soil temperatures are most conducive to disease development and water use by the tree is low. Plum rootstocks are less susceptible to Phytophthora infections than peach rootstocks, so plums grown on plum rootstock seldom have this disease. Fungicides are also available to treat soil around newly planted trees. If there is a history of Phytophthora root rot in the orchards and problems are anticipated, treatments may be warranted.

Common name Amount to Use R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to environmental quality Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
 
A. FOSETYL-AL
  (Aliette) 5 lb/100 gal 12 0
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Quinone outside inhibitor (11)
  COMMENTS: For use on nonbearing trees only. Apply as a foliar spray at 60-day intervals.
 
B. MEFENOXAM
  (Ridomil Gold EC) Varies with method of 48 0
  application and size of tree  
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Phenylamide (4)
  COMMENTS: Applications are made in early spring and fall. Do not apply to trees within 90 days of planting.
 
+ 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.
1 Group numbers are assigned by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) according to different modes of actions (for more information, see http://www.frac.info/). Fungicides with a different group number are suitable to alternate in a resistance management program. In California, make no more than one application of fungicides with mode of action Group numbers 1,4,9,11, or 17 before rotating to a fungicide with a different mode of action Group number; for fungicides with other Group numbers, make no more than two consecutive applications before rotating to fungicide with a different mode of action Group number.

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Plum
UC ANR Publication 3462
Diseases
W. D. Gubler, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
J. E. Adaskaveg, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
K. R. Day, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
B. L. Teviotdale, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

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