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Seasonal Development of Phomopsis Shoot Blight of Peach and Effects of Selective Pruning and Shoot Debris Management on Disease Incidence

May 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  5
Pages  565 - 568

W. Uddin and K. L. Stevenson , Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-7274

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Accepted for publication 5 February 1998.

Seasonal development of shoot blight of peach caused by a Phomopsis sp. was evaluated in Oconee, Hall, and Peach counties in Georgia from April 1994 through May 1996. The frequency of infected buds in all three locations was highest during spring (mid-March to mid-May) and fall (early September to mid-October). The frequency of infected buds was highest in Hall County, which is the northernmost sampling location, followed by Oconee and Peach counties, which are located further south. During the same period of time, the effects of selective pruning and shoot debris management on disease incidence were evaluated in orchards in Oconee and Hall counties from May 1994 through May 1996. Selective pruning of infected shoots in May and October each year, following the major periods of infection, significantly reduced disease incidence during the following seasons in both locations. Disease incidence was similar regardless of whether shoot debris were left under the tree or removed from the orchard and destroyed. Our study indicates that major periods of infection of peach shoots by the Phomopsis sp. occur in the spring during the period of bud break, and in the fall when dormant buds and leaf scars are present. Additionally, our study indicates that reduction of inoculum by selectively removing infected shoots from the trees following the major periods of infection may significantly reduce disease incidence, although it may not eliminate the disease. Removal of infected shoot debris from the orchard does not appear to be necessary following pruning.

Additional keywords: canker, cultural control, Prunus persica, sanitation

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society