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Root rot of Lawson cypress and other ornamentals caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi

Root rot of Lawson cypress and other ornamentals caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi

Contr Boyce Thompson Inst 17(6): 359-373

P. cinnamomi was found to be the cause of root rot of 2 Lawson cypress vars., Alumi cypress, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana var. allumi. and Elwoodi cypress, C. lawsoniana var. elwoodi; English yew, Taxus baccata; Irish yew, T. baccata var. stricta; Japanese yew, T. cuspidata; heath, Erica carnea; and 2 vars. of heather, Calluna vulgaris var. alba and C. v. var. aurea in Oregon nurseries and home plantings. Twenty-five of 47 plant spp. or vars. tested, including those from which the fungus was isolated in Oregon, were susceptible to one isolate of P. cinnamomi; 16 of these had not previously been reported as hosts. Four physiol. strains were differentiated among 14 isolates of P. cinnamomi tested using Alumi cypress, English walnut, Irish yew and Douglas fir, as differential hosts. Soil of a moderate texture appeared to be more favorable for the development and spread of root rot caused by P. cinnamomi than lighter or heavier soils. Disease development was also found to be favored by a high soil moisture level. The period when most infection of susceptible plants by P. cinnamomi and P. lateralis occurs is probably in late spring or early summer after the soil warms up sufficiently for zoospore production by the pathogen, rather than during the winter months. As P. cinnamomi may occur in the soil to a depth of at least 2.4 ft., fumigation does not appear to be a practical method for eradicating the fungus from infested soil.

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