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and highbush (V. … Read our Cultivar resistance is available and should be a primary consideration in the establishment of new plantings; remember that young bushes are the most susceptible. The blight overwinters on dead or decomposing plants that are covering the soil. Some cultivars, such as Bluechip (Vaccinium corymbosum “Bluechip”) and Bounty (Vaccinium corymbosum “Bounty”) are more susceptible to the disease than others. Pruning can be done anytime infected stems are observed, but care should be taken to cut well below the infected area. Cooperative Extension center. Because of their early ripening season, southern highbush blueberries are particularly attractive to birds (especially cedar waxwings). Later in the growing se… Polashock, J. J., and Kramer, M. 2006. Spores are disseminated by rainwater. A stem blight-infected stem will have a uniform, light brown discoloration in the wood extending down the infected side of the stem. This can be avoided by thorough field preparation prior to planting. Cross-section of blueberry stem, showing brown discoloration caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea. — Read our Vascular pathogens (fungal and bacterial) represent constant challenges for southern highbush blueberry (SHB) growers. The stem blight fungus causes a rapid wilt with browning or reddening of leaves on individual branches, often followed by death of the entire plant as the fungus spreads downward through vascular tissue to the base of the plant. Blueberry Botrytis Blight (fungus – Botrytis cinerea): Under high humidity and mild temperatures this fungus can attack blooms and tender growth. Birds relish the fruit, so cover shrubs with netting as the fruit ripens. Fusicoccum Canker or Godronia Canker (Godronia cassandrae): Fusicoccum canker is caused by a fungus that infects blueberry stems causing dieback and plant decline. Infected prunings should be removed well away from the field and burned or shredded. Unfortunately, fungicides don’t offer protection against blueberry stem blight. Never prune blueberries in their first or second years, except to remove infected stems. The disease has very obvious symptoms for which to watch. Phomopsis twig blight lesions on blueberry. These spores are released year-round with the exception of a few weeks in winter; however, the greatest numbers of infections occur in early summer. Spores are carried by wind and rain from infected stems to wounds on healthy plants. In a normal year, stem blight infections become evident in June, soon after harvest in southeastern North Carolina. Since stem blight is most damaging to young plantings, heavy pruning to promote rapid growth should be avoided in 1- to 2-year-old plantings; pruning in young plantings should be limited to removal of stem blight-infected canes. With good crop management, most blueberry diseases can be avoided. How to Care for an Umbrella Plant Capella, How to Start Blueberry Plants From Another Grown Plant, Southern Living: Blueberries – Essential Southern Plant, North Carolina State University: Stem Blight of Blueberry, How to Stop Tomato Blight with Copper Wire. Phytopathology 67:1481-1484. Abstract Botryosphaeria stem blight, caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea, is a destructive disease of rabbiteye (Vacciniu,n ache!) commitment to diversity. If any brown areas are visible in this cross-section, the cut must be made again further down the stem until all infected tissue is removed. Figure 4.
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