- Worldwide distribution. Natural processes occurring on cocoa, not diseases.
- Sunscald – Either cocoa is grown without shade, or shade is removed and soil nutrients not sufficient to support healthy growth. Top leaves yellow, fall, and young stems dieback. Lower shoots develop.
- Cherelle wilt – Young pods, 6-8 cm, first red or green, stop growing, lose colour and decay, turning black, but remaining attached. Although a natural process, it can be increased by Phytophthora black pod rot.
- Cultural control: important factors are: spacing; a light shade preferably from a tree in the legume family, moist soils (not too wet or dry); mulch; control of black pod.
- Chemical control: none recommended.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Cocoa sunscald & cherelle wilt (137)
Photo 1. Branch dieback and yellowing of the leaves due to sunscald of cocoa caused by exposure - lack of shade - and poor nutrition.
Cocoa sunscald & cherelle wilt. 'Cherelles' are young pods that wilt during the first 6-8 weeks after pollination, when less than 10 cm long.
There are no scientific name for these physiological conditions: i) reaction of trees to lack of shade, and sun damage, and ii) early death of cherelles by a natural fruit-thinning process.
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from (including Photos 3&4) Gerlach WWP (1988) Plant diseases of Western Samoa. Samoan German Crop Protection Project, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) Gmbh, Germany. Photo 1 Pita Tikai, ACIAR ICM/IPM project, Solomon Islands.
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.