- Author: CA Dept Food
Two additional trees in San Gabriel have tested positive for Huanglongbing. The two trees, an orange and a kumquat, are on separate properties but are both within the core area in San Gabriel where 10 diseased trees were confirmed last summer. Given the close proximity, there will not be a quarantine expansion.
One of the HLB-positive trees has already been removed and California Department of Food and Agriculture officials are in the process of contacting the other homeowner to schedule tree removal. Agriculture officials are working quickly in the area.
Citrus trees in San Gabriel had already been treated for the Asian citrus psyllid within the last few weeks as part of CDFA's routine HLB response. Asian citrus psyllid populations are closely monitored in areas where HLB has been detected and treatments occur if there is a noted increase in population size. Since trees have been recently protected, no additional treatments will take place at this time. Instead, CDFA will focus on sampling extensively in the area. Much of the area has already been sampled and CDFA's lab has identified all samples from San Gabriel as high priority.
The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program is working with the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner's office and CDFA to develop a multi-lingual informational flier to notify residents of the significance of these finds and potential implications to other citrus trees in the area. CDFA staff will distribute this information as they go door-to-door sampling and surveying.
More information will be shared as it is available. In the meantime, the citrus industry is encouraged to keep a critical eye on all plant material moving into or out of your groves. Remove all leaves and stems, shake out picking bags, inspect harvesting equipment and educate fieldworkers. Additionally, get on board with area-wide treatments. Collectively, as a team, we can all save our citrus trees.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen ACP or symptoms of HLB on their trees are urged to call CDFA's Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or your local agricultural commissioner's office.
The calls are coming in and have been for the last several months. The trees are tired, worn out and look horrible. What's the problem? Well four years of drought, accumulated salts in the root zone and irrigation practices that aren't removing the salts from the root zone. It sets up a situation of tip burn, but much more extensive than tip burn is the water stress that results from salt accumulation. Salts compete with roots for water and they act to pull water away from the roots. It is as if less water is being applied. The water stress sets up the trees for a fungal infection called variously leaf blight, stem blight and in young trees, death. We used to call this Dothiorella blight, but since the work of Akif Eskalen at UC Riverside, it turns out it is one of many fungi that cause this problem, most of them Botryosphaerias.
The leaves show what would appear to be salt burn damage which increasingly causes leaf drop. In fact, there's often a pile of leaves under the canopy unless the wind has blown them away. The difference between this and salt burn is that there is not a regular pattern to it. It can start on the margins, or in the middle of the leaf, or wherever it darn well pleases. Whereas salt/tip burn always starts at the leaf tip and progressively moves back onto the main part of the leaf. Leaf blight (I don't like to use bigger words than that – Botryosphaeria. Try spelling it on the phone), on the other hand doesn't follow this regular pattern. It's a random pattern.
This a decomposing fungus. Wherever there is organic matter – leaves, twigs, branches, fruit, whatever is dead on the ground – there is a decomposing fungus. When the fungus finds a stressed plant, it invades the most susceptible part of the plant, usually the leaf. It starts growing through the tissue and down the leaf petiole. It then starts growing down the dead part of the plant. Most of a tree is dead. All that stuff under the bark and cambium is dead tissue, although it still carries water. In mature trees, there is a capacity to close off the decay and limit it. In young trees (younger than two or so), the capacity is lacking and the fungus can keep on growing down to the union and kill the tree.
As can be imagined, this fungus does not discriminate amongst the type of plants it feeds on. It will go to water-stressed, citrus, roses, apples, etc. It goes to every woody perennial that I am aware of. I've seen it on redwoods and eucalyptus. It especially goes after shallow-rooted species like avocado which are the most prone to water-stress. Like when a Santa Ana blows in and the irrigation schedule is slow to respond. Like when there is a heavy load of fruit. Fruit have stomata and the more environmental stress the more water they lose and pull on water from the tree.
Now imagine a tree loaded with fruit, in the later summer, with a Santa Ana and salt stress. Boom! Fruit drops and leaf blight shows up. And the damage doesn't go away, until it so severe that the leaf drops and new leaves come on in the spring.
Hopefully these rains will wash the salts from the root systems and refill the profile with high quality water. We are extremely reliant on winter rain to cover up the effects of the damage that irrigation water does to our soil and plants. And rain is the answer, as long as it's not too much.
Notice the even pattern of necrosis with tip burn
And the random pattern with leaf blight.
These official UC-approved guidelines for pest monitoring techniques, pesticide use, and nonpesticide alternatives for agricultural crops are essential tools for anyone making pest management decisions in the field. This 124-page guideline covers citrus fruit.
A hard copy version of these guidelines can be purchased as Publication 3441P.
The PDF version of this publication is best viewed using the free Adobe® Acrobat® Reader. You can download a free copy of the Acrobat Reader from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Some users have experienced problems using Preview with these documents; we recommend using the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.
You come on a leaf with the margins munched on. It's got to be a beetle or a looper or some insect doing the damage, right? Not necessarily. It's not time to drag out the Raid. Look at the damage closely. In the photos below you can see the dead leaf margins caused by either salt damage or more likely leaf blight. Leaf blight is a disease that shows up with water stress and is caused by a fungus, one of the Botryoshpaerias. It causes an uneven marginal necrosis that goes along the margin in a somewhat irregular pattern and often not at the leaf tip. In this case it does affect the leaf tip, and since salt burn and leaf blight are caused by the same conditions of water stress, it's probably a bit of both.
Lepidopteran larvae will more commonly feed in a smooth pattern, not the rough pattern seen here. Now with this dead tissue, the wind blows it out, and what's left is the uneven margin. No it's not time to spray an insecticide. It's time to reflect on irrigation. There's a lot of this damage out there now. On avocados, citrus, landscape plants. It's going away until the leaves drop and are replaced with new ones, that will hopefully be well hydrated by rain and proper irrigation.
Top photo is salt/leaf blight damage
Bottom is necrotic tissue that the wind has blown out
- Author: Elizabeth Fichtner
Elizabeth Fichtner1, Dani Lightle2, Dan Flynn3, Rodrigo Krugner4
UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Tulare1, Kings1, Glenn2, Tehama2, and Butte2 Counties, UC Davis Olive Center3, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center4
The recent outbreak of the plant bacterium Xylella fastidiosa in southern Italy illustrates the potential for introduced organisms to incite widespread havoc in a short time. Xylella fastidiosa has been found in association with a new disease called olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS), which is affecting over 20,000 acres of olive in the Apulia region of Italy. Symptoms of OQDS include extensive branch and twig dieback, yellow and brown lesions on leaf tips and margins, vascular discoloration, and subsequent tree mortality. In southern Italy, the main insect vector of X. fastidiosa is the spittlebug Philaenus spumarius, which is known to occur in California. While research is underway to determine if the bacterium is responsible for causing OQDS, establishment of X. fastidiosa in Europe leaves growers and researchers asking where it came from. Genetic techniques used to compare pathogen populations have led researchers to hypothesize that the isolates of X. fastidiosa (strain CoDiRO) associated with OQDS, may have originated in Costa Rica. Marking the first European find of X. fastidiosa outside of Italy, the bacterium also was found on ornamental coffee plants at a retail market near Paris in April 2015; the plants had been imported to Europe from Honduras (3). In July 2015, X. fastidiosa was identified on ornamental plants on the French island of Corsica and on the mainland in October 2015 (2). The X. fastidiosa subspecies found in Corsica (subspecies multiplex) is different from that associated with OQDS in Italy (subspecies pauca) (2).
The European Commission has imposed several regulatory actions to prevent further spread and introduction of X. fastidiosa into the European Union, including a specific ban on import of coffee plants from Honduras and Costa Rica; eradication measures in Italy and France; and the potential for strict eradication measures aimed at new outbreaks or finds of the bacterium, including removal and destruction of infected plants, and all host plants within a radius of 100 m. (1)
The new introductions of X. fastidiosa to Europe illustrate the potential for long distance dispersal of the bacterium and a vulnerability of California agriculture to invasion by new organisms. The United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Plant Protection and Quarantine's (USDA-APHIS-PPQ) New Pest Advisory Group (NPAG) is assessing the biology and potential economic and environmental impacts that the strain CoDiRO may pose to the United States to recommend potential regulatory strategies (Tara Holz, personal communication). NPAG is designed to inform Federal decision makers regarding potential regulatory actions that may be appropriate to prevent pest introduction.Previous USDA-led research has found X. fastidiosa in California olive trees, but the endemic bacterium has only limited association with disease and is a different subspecies than the CoRiDO strain associated with the OQDS in Italy.
California olive growers and industry stakeholders are encouraged to contact UCCE Farm Advisors to report trees displaying symptoms of OQDS.
1. European Commission Press Release, April 28, 2015: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-4887_en.htm
2. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. 2015. First reports of Xylella fastidiosa in EPPO region-Special Alert. http://www.eppo.int/QUARANTINE/special_topics/Xylella_fastidiosa/Xylella_fastidiosa.htm
3. French Ministry of Agriculture Food and Safety Press Release, April 29, 2015: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fagriculture.gouv.fr%2Fstephane-le-foll-salue-la-mise-en-place-de-mesures-europeennes-de-prevention-contre-la-bacterie-xylella