Plant Disease (2003) 87, 1083-1088

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D. Shtienberg, M. Zilberstaine, D. Oppenheim, S. Levi, H. Shwartz and G. Kritzman (2003)
New considerations for pruning in management of fire blight in pears
Plant Disease 87 (9), 1083-1088
Abstract: The efficacy of pruning infected pear tissues to combat fire blight (caused by Erwinia amylovora) was evaluated in two sets of experiments conducted during 1999 to 2001 in Israel. In the first set of two experiments, diseased tissues were removed soon after the observation of blossom infections. Pruning was effective in 0 to 50% of the treated trees, and resulted in complete eradication of E. amylovora. In the remaining trees, pruning not only did not result in eradication of the bacteria from the tree tissues, it made the situation worse, as the disease had invaded the main branches and limbs of a significantly larger proportion of pruned trees than of nonpruned ones, because of alteration of the physiological status of the host plant by pruning. In the five experiments of the second set, the efficacy of pruning fire blight infections on main branches and limbs was studied; the time of pruning varied among the experiments. Effectiveness of cutting and removing infected branches and limbs was linearly related to time of treatment: the efficacy of pruning improved significantly with lateness of the treatment. The best results were obtained when pruning was carried out while the trees were dormant, in December: none of these trees had a severely infected canopy the following spring. Based on the results obtained in this study, it was concluded that factors related to all three components of the disease triangle (i.e., pathogen, host, and environment), rather than only the actual presence of diseased tissues, should be taken into account in considering the need for cutting and removing fire blight-diseased tissues. Accordingly, recommendations for Israeli growers were revised and updated.
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Database assignments for author(s): D. Shtienberg

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general


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Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Erwinia amylovora Pear (Pyrus) Israel