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Phony Peach

Based on observations at the Byron USDA station (pathology blocks) and Fort Valley State (Jeff Cook orchards), phony peach appears to be increasing in importance (see photos below; short, squat trees are phony peach trees).  I suspect this could be related to two really warm consecutive winters, increased vector numbers (sharpshooters), and less insecticide applications to non-productive orchards.  I also suspect that commercial producers are seeing the same. Unfortunately, destruction of symptomatic trees is still recommended, and we have virtually no other recommendations at this time.  We hope to obtain grant funding in the near future to further our knowledge of this disease and it’s management.

Phony trees at the Byron USDA station. Note the short, squat trees as compared to a healthy tree.

Phony peach at Fort Valley State. Similar symptoms were observed across both orchards.

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About Phil Brannen

Phil Brannen is a Professor in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management, where he also received an M.S. in Plant Pathology, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Auburn University. He has extensive experience with disease management programs in numerous cropping systems. He serves as the extension fruit pathologist for Georgia – conducting research and technology transfer for multiple fruit commodities. His efforts are directed towards developing IPM practices to solve disease issues and technology transfer of disease-management methods to commercial fruit producers. He also teaches the graduate level Field Pathology Course, the History of Plant Diseases and their Impact on Human Societies Course, team-teaches the IPM Course, coordinates the Viticulture and Enology in the Mediterranean Region Course (Cortona, Italy), and guest lectures in numerous other courses throughout the year.