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Long Live the Peach Tree...Without Methyl Bromide

By Doris Stanley
December 20, 1996

A new ARS-developed peach rootstock could offer an alternative to using the pesticide methyl bromide to rid the soil of nematodes that cause peach tree short life (PTSL).

PTSL is a major problem for peach growers throughout the southeastern United States. Scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service developed the new rootstock--in conjunction with Clemson University researchers--to resist the ring nematode that leads to PTSL-related tree death.

ARS scientists have recently found that this rootstock also resists the root-knot nematode, which causes reduced tree growth of young trees.

Called Guardian, the new rootstock is now available at commercial nurseries as bulk seed for next year’s growing season.

Scientific contact: Andy P. Nyczepir, USDA-ARS Southeastern Fruit & Tree Nut Research Laboratory, Byron, Ga., phone (912) 956-5656.