Watch out for bacterial blight in hazelnuts

onspecialtycrops

From Erica De Jong, OMAFRA Summer Student and Melanie Filotas, Specialty Crops IPM Specialist, OMAFRA

While most members of Ontario’s emerging hazelnut industry recognize the importance of managing eastern filbert blight, other pests can also affect this crop and will require attention.  Following two harsh winters, we have seen an increased incidence of bacterial blight in many Ontario hazelnut orchards.  While not quite as devastating as filbert blight, this disease can still significantly affect the health of hazelnut trees, particularly newly established ones.

Bacterial blight is caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas arboricola pv. corylina, and most commonly causes losses in young, establishing trees less than 6 years of age, or in very stressed older tress.  Bacteria enter the tree through natural openings or wounds on buds, branches or trunks.   Bacteria spread between trees and orchards by rain splash, infected nursery stock or contaminated pruning tools.  The freezing weather…

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