Replant Disease

Replant Disease

Replant Disease. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Planting a new orchard or vineyard takes some preparation. Tim Smith, WSU Extension agent says it's not like it used to be.

SMITH: In the good old days we used to plant a tree about every 20 feet apart or so and we'd just dig a hole in the ground and maybe if we were lucky and the grower was really conscientious they'd take a spade and try to knock the side off of that clay pot. They'd stick a tree in there and sometimes it would grow sort of and sometimes it wouldn't grow at all and we began to recognize that as a problem back in the 50's.

What was happening was something called replant disease.

SMITH: And it turns out it is a root problem and it has nothing to do with arsenic unless the arsenic is really high; it's a soil pathogen problem. And everyone has looked for the Holy Grail for years, what soil pathogen is it and it turns out that is a very difficult question because rarely can you find any one thing that does it all by itself.

Smith says it's difficult to manage as well.

SMITH: We realize it's a complex of a number of things. It isn't just nematodes, if you control nematodes the tree can still be hammered by replant problems. It isn't just bacteria, it isn't just fungi, but it's a combination of a lot of things. So therefore a single, narrow approaches don't tend to work on this problem especially if you've tried in more than one spot.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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