How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Verticillium Wilt

Pathogen: Verticillium dahliae

(Reviewed 6/10, updated 6/10, pesticides updated 9/15)

In this Guideline:


Verticillium wilt becomes apparent when leaves on one or more branches, often on only one side of the tree, turn yellow and/or wilt early in the growing season. The symptoms progress until the infected shoots die and dry up later in the season. When shoot, branch, or trunk tissue of infected trees is dissected, the vascular ring and often much of the heartwood will display dark discoloration. Foliar symptoms usually appear only on young trees (2nd to 4th leaf). Older trees do not normally present symptoms of Verticillium wilt.


The causal fungus, Verticillium dahliae, survives from season to season in soil, debris of previous, susceptible crops, and probably in the roots and lower trunk of infected trees. Often the fungus can be isolated from living portions of infected tissue year around in the Central Valley. Tree yields can be reduced by Verticillium even when foliar symptoms are not readily apparent. Specific rootstock/scion varieties may vary in susceptibility and are not well known.


Orchards can be adversely affected by this disease even when low pathogen numbers in soil (2–3 propagules per gram) are present. Avoid interplanting young orchards with susceptible crop plants, such as cotton, tomatoes, melons, etc. Verticillium dahliae is usually present in these soils. Inoculum levels can be reduced by fumigating the soil, flooding fallow fields in summer, solarizing the soil, growing several seasons of grass cover crops (especially sudangrass or rye), or a combination of these methods. When replanting in an area where susceptible perennials were previously grown, try to remove as many roots of the previous crop as possible.

Soil Solarization
Preplant. Beginning in late spring, cover the moistened soil with clear, UV-inhibited plastic sheeting. Leave in place during the summer months.

At planting. Cover soil around trees with black plastic sheeting. Leave in place for one to two growing seasons.

Common name Amount per acre REI‡
(Example trade name)   (hours)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
Bee precaution pesticide ratings
When choosing a pesticide, consider its usefulness in an IPM program by reviewing the pesticide’s properties, efficacy, application timing, and information relating to resistance management, honey bees (PDF), and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being used.
  COMMENTS: Use allowed under a Critical Use Exemption only. Fumigants such as methyl bromide are a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) but are not reactive with other air contaminants that form ozone; methyl bromide depletes ozone.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Nectarine
UC ANR Publication 3451


J. E. Adaskaveg, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
R. A. Duncan, UC Cooperative Extension Stanislaus County
K. R. Day, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County

Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
W. D. Gubler, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
B. L. Teviotdale, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

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