Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Avocado dieback (120)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On avocado and many other fruit, nut and forest trees, and ornamentals. A water mould, oomycete, not a fungus, kills the fine roots, causing loss of leaves, fruit, dieback and death (3-5 years). An important disease.
  • Spread in ground water, soil on machinery, shoes, horticultural trade.
  • Cultural control: use pasteurised soil in nursery, clean pots, tools and water; choose well-drained sites (dig hole, fill with water, and check water drains away in an hour); avoid spread in soil on plants, tools, footwear and vehicles; add organic matter as mulches, manures or composts, at planting and regularly thereafter; use gypsum; check availability of tolerant varieties.
  • Chemical control: use phosphorous acid as trunk injection or spays. Get advice on methods and timing.
Common Name

Avocado dieback

Scientific Name

Phytophthora cinnamomi

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Gerlach WWP (1988) Plant diseases of Western Samoa. Samoan German Crop Protection Project, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) Gmbh, Germany; and (including Photo 1) Diseases of fruit crops in Australia (2009). Editors, Tony Cooke, et al. CSIRO Publishing; and from Diagram Rudman T (2005) Interim Phytophthora cinnamomi management guidelines. Nature Conservation Report 05/7, Biodiversity Conservation Branch, Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Hobart. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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