Pruning for Management of Almond Leaf Scorch

COLLABORATORS: Mario Viveros, UC Kern Co.

Almond leaf scorch
Almond leaf scorch
Almond leaf scorch is a bacterial disease that causes severe yield losses in Almonds.  It is an insect-vectored disease that has taken on increased importance since the introduction of the glassy-winged sharpshooter.  Research has been proposed and is underway to address questions about vectors, sources of inoculum, epidemiology of the spread, etc., of this disease.  However, nobody was addressing the issue of what to do once a tree is infected, other than pull it out.

The primary objective of this project was to determine if pruning could be used as an alternative to whole tree removal for almond leaf scorch.  Other purposes were to map the spread of this disease in Kern County and provide an extension program relating to almond leaf scorch to almond growers in the lower San Joaquin Valley. Even though pruning could not be validated or disproved due to low incidence of the disease, education on the severity of the spread of the disease was given to growers in case an outbreak should happen again.

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