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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #218693

Title: Managing peach tree short life and Armillaria root rot in peach orchards

item Beckman, Thomas

Submitted to: National Peach Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/2007
Publication Date: 12/8/2007
Citation: Beckman, T.G. 2007. Managing peach tree short life and Armillaria root rot in peach orchards. In: Proceedings of 3rd National Peach Congress, December 6-8, 2007, Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico. p. 28-41.

Interpretive Summary: Peach tree short life (PTSL) and Armillaria root rot (ARR) are difficult problems to manage in many fruit production areas of the world. Moreover, the situation can be made even more complicated if other problems, e.g. root-knot nematodes or site restrictions such as poor drainage or calcareous soils, are also present. Our work has served to both refine the management programs proposed for use on sites prone to PTSL and ARR and also to develop new tools and germplasm to help cope with these problems. The introduction of ‘Sharpe’ a plum hybrid rootstock marks a significant step forward. ‘Sharpe’ is the first rootstock for use with peach that offers resistance to Armillaria tabescens, one of two species that cause significant tree losses in stone fruit production areas around the world. Our work evaluating both current commercially available materials as well as new introductions from programs around the world has developed information useful to growers seeking the best match of germplasm and management programs to their site’s specific features and limitations.

Technical Abstract: Peach tree short life (PTSL) and Armillaria root rot (ARR) are the two most important causes of premature mortality of commercial peach trees in the southeastern US. These two problems separately or together are also significant problems in many other stone fruit production areas throughout the world. Identifying these diseases and distinguishing them from other common problems is generally straightforward and is based on the timeframe of symptom expression and the patterns and appearance of tissue damage. Grower response to the presence of either disease is distinctly different. Hence the importance of correct diagnosis. Pre and post-plant management programs and recommendations that can help to minimize damage are available. The selection of the best adapted rootstock for a given site is another important factor. The recent introduction of ‘Sharpe’ plum rootstock provides another tool to assist in the management of both of these diseases.