Harrell's | Disease of the Month - Pseudomonas syringae
Harrell's | Disease of the Month - Pseudomonas syringae
Puerto Rico Tiene Tomates Capítulo 5
22 April, 2017, 06:13
This month I have gotten a lot of calls about leaf and twig dieback on Lilacs, Magnolias and Forsythia. The pathogen known as Pseudomonas syringae is likely to be the culprit this time of year. Once this pathogen is confirmed with pathology testing, it is important to act fast as this disease spreads very quickly in the spring and fall.
This Pseudomonas strain flourishes under cool, wet conditions that are common this time of year . On most deciduous magnolia crops the disease will manifest itself as a black necrotic leafspot. If left unchecked it will defoliate an entire plant and cause premature bud dieback. In Forsythia the disease appears as leafspots, if left unchecked it can cause dieback in large portions of the plant and possible plant loss. Plants that have the disease already will be weakened because their leaves are not photosynthesizing fully, especially those that might be stressed from a wet hot summer or those on overhead irrigation.
This pathogen is opportunistic in nature; It needs to way into its host. In the spring Pseudomonas uses frost damage to enter the plant. The pathogen has evolved so well that it actually produces a protein that acts similar to an ice nucleus, allowing this frost damage to set in sooner. These wounds are then colonized further by the bacteria.
Late season frosts when plants are still tender can be catastrophic to susceptible plants, which also include maples, flowering cherry and pear trees, Dogwood, Mountain Ash, Blueberry and Viburnum. These plants should be allowed to harden off quickly in the spring but remain covered until after the historical frost to avoid excessive frost damage. If you grow several of these host plants on your location it is a good idea to spread them out to prevent the bacteria from spreading one species to the next.
Alcohol at the pruning stage is worth its weight in gold and is rarely used at full potential at most sites. Susceptible plants should not be trimmed in the spring or fall months to avoid opening wounds, rather mid to late winter trim is recommended. I personally like pruning this time of year because you can see the architecture of the plant, allowing you to be more selective and improve the overall health of the plant during the trim process. If you address all these cultural practices and are still having issues with Pseudomonas syringae, it might be time to talk to you Harrell's rep.
There are two more factors that should be addressed ... spring fertilization release and pesticide options ! As mentioned above, new growth tends to be susceptible to pathogen. Fertilizers that release large amounts of nitrogen in the early spring can encourage frost prone growth. Growers who deal with this pathogen might want to think about tightening up their mixes early on in the spring. You can ask your Harrell's what they think about this every fertilizer mix is different!
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It is also a good idea to think about a sound spray when Pseudomonas appears on your operation. To be honest there are not many options when dealing with bacterial diseases. So with that being said, spray timing becomes critical. Like Fire Blight and other bacterial diseases a couple well timed sprays during the growing season will work at slowing this pathogen down. The late fall application of copper to dormant plants works well to knockdown any spores, which in most regions is within the next couple of weeks. Then in the spring just before bud break susceptible plants should be sprayed with copper to eliminate overwintering inoculum.
This month I have taken many calls about leaf and dead branches in plants of Lilas, Magnolias and Forthsythia. The pathogen known as Pseudomonas syringae is the safest culprit at this time of year. Once this pathogen is confirmed by pathological examination, it is important to act fast as this disease spreads rapidly in the fall and spring.
This deformation of Pseudomonas blooms under cool temperatures and wet conditions that are common during this Time of year. In most of the temporal magnolia crop the disease will manifest as a necrotic black spot on the leaf. Failure to heed the whole plant will defoliate and cause the buds to die prematurely. In Forsythia the disease appears as a stain on the leaf, if not attended cause that portions of the plant will dry out and possibility that the whole plant will die. Plants that have the disease will be weakened because their leaves have not been photosynthesis completely, especially those that can be damaged by the hot and humid summer or are watered by sprinkling.
This pathogen is opportunistic in nature; You need an entrance to your host. In the spring the Pseudomonas uses the area damaged by the cold to enter the plant. The pathogen has evolved so well that it actually produces a protein that acts similar to an ice core, allowing cold damage to settle faster. These wounds are then further colonized by the bacteria.
Producers who face these diseases year after year may need to think about their sanitation practices. Every leaf and waste clippings need to be cleaned and taken out of the crop area at all times. This pathogen over winter on dead branches or leaves and splashing rain and irrigation system, so good sanitation is important! It can also be spread via insects and humans. Each time a group of shipping personnel enters or drags plants or whenever a pruning team passes and opens fresh wounds ... they are spreading pathogens and organisms around, especially on rainy days. Alcohol in the pruning stage is worth its weight in gold and seldom used to its full potential in most places I have visited. Susceptible plants should not be pruned in the spring or fall months to avoid fresh wounds, instead recommending that they be pruned in the winter. Personally I like pruning during this time because you can see the architecture of the plant during the pruning process. If you apply all these cultural practices and still have problems with Pseudomonas syringae, it may be time to talk to a Harrell representative.
There are two more factors that need to be discussed ... the irrigation option spring and pesticide. As previously mentioned tender new branches are susceptible to the pathogen. Fertilizers that release large amounts of nitrogen early in the spring can encourage growth of branches grown because of the cold. Producers dealing with pathogens may need to think about adjusting their fertilizer mixes early in the spring. You can request information from your Harrell representative who thinks of this as each compost mix is different!
Mixture of sulfate copper + hydrated lime or copper sulphate + Mancozeb works well for these two annual irrigations. I have heard mixed results with Streptomycin products. Cease of Bioworks has Pseudomonas in the label, monthly irrigations during the growing season can help keep plants looking good for sale all year long without risk of buildup resistant or phytotoxicity. If none of these works ... as Marshal says, give him a torch!
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