How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Avocado

Fusarium Dieback

Pathogen: Fusarium euwallaceae, Graphium euwallaceae and Paracremonium pembeum

(Reviewed 9/16, updated 9/16, corrected 3/17)

In this Guideline:


SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

Fusarium dieback is caused by a complex of fungal species colonizing galleries made by the polyphagous shot hole borer or the Kuroshio shot hole borer.

External Symptoms: A host tree's visible response to disease varies among host species. On avocado, sugary exudate (also called a sugar volcano) and frass may be noticeable before the tiny beetles are found. The beetle's entry and exit holes, which are about 0.03 inch (0.85 mm) in diameter, can be located beneath or near the symptoms. Advanced fungal infections will eventually lead to branch dieback.

Internal Symptoms: The fungi interrupt the transport of water and nutrients in branches of affected trees. Infected wood is discolored brown to black. Scrape away bark around beetle entry and exit holes to easily see discolored wood. Cross-sections of cut branches show the extent of infection.

COMMENTS ON THE DISEASE

Fusarium dieback is a recent, invasive, beetle-vectored disease that causes damage on avocado and more than 39 other tree species. The disease has spread in urban forests and wild lands in the Los Angeles basin since early 2012, and in Orange and San Diego counties since early 2013 and Ventura County in 2015.

Rapid spread of the beetle and fungi throughout various land-use areas is attributed to the diverse range and quantity of suitable hosts in Southern California

MANAGEMENT

Currently there are no control measures for this disease. Early detection of infestations and removal of infested branches will help reduce vector beetle numbers and the extend of disease spread.

  • Chip infested wood onsite to a size of one inch (2.5 cm) or smaller. If the branches are too large to chip,
  • Sterilize tools with either 5% bleach, Lysol cleaning solution, or 70% ethyl alcohol to prevent the spread of the disease through pruning tools
  • Avoid movement of infested firewood and chipping material out of infested area
  • For more information visit the UC Riverside Eskalen Lab website.

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Avocado
UC ANR Publication 3436

Diseases

A. Eskalen, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
B. A. Faber, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Barbara/Ventura counties

Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
G. S. Bender, UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County
H. D. Ohr (emeritus), Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
J. A. Menge, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
L. J. Marais, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
R. Hofshi, Hofshi Foundation, Fallbrook, CA
J. S. Semancik, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside
J. A. Downer, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
U. C. Kodira, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

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