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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 47, Issue 2 — March 2021

Evaluation of Inducing Agents and Synthetic Fungicide Combinations for Management of Foliar Pathogens of Urban Trees

Glynn C. Percival and Sean Graham

Abstract: Unmanaged, foliar pathogens of urban trees can be detrimental to tree health and aesthetics. Overreliance on synthetic fungicides increasingly means alternative means of pathogen management are now required. The purpose of these studies was to investigate the efficacy of 3 commercially available agents, harpin protein, salicylic acid derivative, and liquid chitosan, which can initiate induced resistance (IR) in plants. IR agents were applied independently and in combination with a synthetic fungicide (boscalid + pyraclostrobin) against 2 foliar pathogens (Venturia pirina and Guignardia aesculi) under field conditions with Pyrus communis ‘Williams’ Bon Chrétien’ and horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) acting as tree hosts. These agents were tested over 3 consecutive years. In 4 of 5 field studies, the use of an IR agent alone reduced pathogen symptom severity, increased fruit/seed yield, and enhanced leaf chlorophyll content. In virtually all studies, application of boscalid + pyraclostrobin at 2/3 strength plus an IR agent provided the same degree of pathogen control as boscalid + pyraclostrobin at full strength. Application of boscalid + pyraclostrobin at 1/3 strength plus an IR agent provided a reasonable degree of foliar pathogen control. Results showed that a combined mix of an IR agent with a 1/3 reduced dose of boscalid + pyraclostrobin was as effective at reducing symptom severity of 2 foliar pathogens as boscalid + pyraclostrobin applied at full strength, provided at least 4 sprays were applied during a growing season.

Keywords: Fungicides; Guignardia; Orchard Management; Pathogen Control; Plant Health Care; Synergism; Urban Landscapes; Venturia.

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