A California avocado tree canker that occurs on twigs, branches or trunks is caused by a complex of fungal pathogens which include many species in the Botryosphaeriaceae family. Canker pathogens can enter and initiate infection through wounds on the bark surface, such as pruning, frost damage and mechanical injury wounds.
Since no definitive measures have yet been found to control the disease, an integrated approach to managing the root rot disease has been found to be most effective. This approach includes root rot prevention, avocado grove cultural management practices and chemical treatment.
Phytophthora cinnamomi, the causal agent of avocado phytophthora root rot, attacks the feeder roots, which can result in death of the avocado tree. Although the disease has been studied for more than 60 years, definitive control measures have not been found and losses continue to mount.
Raffaela lauricola, the causal agent of laurel wilt disease (LWD) is a devastating pathogen that has the potential to greatly impact the California avocado industry. Laurel wilt is a vascular wilt disease that has led to substantial mortality on trees in the Lauraceae family since it was first found in the southeastern United States in 2004.
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