Injected Treatments for Management of Madrone Canker
Marianne Elliott and Robert L. Edmonds
Abstract: Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) has been experiencing a decline in the Puget Sound area, primarily as a result of a canker disease caused by the fungus Fusicoccum arbuti. Cultural methods such as prevention of stress and wounding are recommended to control canker diseases on trees. In addition to these, injected treatments can be used to protect valuable Pacific madrone trees in urban areas. An experiment testing injectable chemical fungicides and plant activators was performed on Pacific madrone trees inoculated with F. arbuti. There was little correlation between fungicidal activity in culture and canker reduction in the field tests. Two treatments that were effective in minimizing canker growth in inoculated madrones were Arbotect® (Syngenta Crop Protection Inc., Greensboro, NC, U.S.; a triazole fungicide) and BioSerum™ (phosphorous acid). Cankers on wound inoculations were 50% smaller than the control group and no infections occurred on surface-inoculated treatments. Increased callusing was observed on cankers on trees with these treatments and the mode of action for these chemicals is probably stimulation of plant defenses rather than fungicidal action. Phosphorous acid is recommended in addition to cultural methods that improve tree vigor for high-value madrone trees in urban landscapes; however, heavily infected trees that have lost most of their crown will probably not benefit.
Keywords: Arbotect®; Botryosphaeria; canker; Fusicoccum; injectible fungicide; Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii); phosphorous acid; plant activator