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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.

Extensive Phony Peach Disease in a Georgia Peach Orchard

Phony peach disease, caused by the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium, is a dangerous disease of peaches in Georgia and elsewhere in the Coastal Plain of the Southeast.  Infected trees are initially stunted due mainly to shortened internodes between leaves and limited growth.  Over time, less fruit are produced, and fruit size…
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Update on Peach Skin Disorders

Update on Peach Skin Disorders Phil Brannen1 , John Mark Lawton2, Juan Carlos Melgar2, Brian Lawrence2, and Guido Schnabel2 1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia 2Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University Inking has been an issue in southeastern peaches for years, but it has been difficult to…
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Abound and Apples — Phytotoxicity Issues

Some of our peach producers also produce apples.  Abound fungicide has significant phyto issues on apples (see below from the label).  With my previous post on blossom blight, you can substitute Merivon or Pristine for Abound when controlling early-season green fruit rot — if you want to also use the…
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Blossom Blight and Suggested Spray Plans

As many of you know, blossom blight is prevalent this year.  It is not present on all peach varieties to the same degree, but many varieties are inundated with Monilinia fructicola (brown rot) spores on the blooms, many of which are gummed and forming cankers.  In some cases, the cankers…
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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…
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Hurricanes and Phytophthora Damage

Unfortunately, it does look like Georgia will experience pretty high winds from hurricane Irma as it passes north. In addition to the direct damage to trees, tree decline and death over time can be a direct result of hurricanes and tropical storms. High winds whip young trees from side-to-side like large…
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