Grapevine bait

Grapevine bait


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What is grapevine bait


It is a disease that mainly attacks the wood of the plant, of fungal origin, very common in Europe. The fungi involved in this particular species of pathology are the phaeomoniella chlamydospora and the phaeoacremonium aleophilum, which multiply through the production of spores capable of removing sap from the vine to use it as nourishment. Already in the cuttings these two fungi start their infection, spreading it with ease through the lymphatic vessels. Due to their infestation, the wood of the vine has dark veins that represent a significant alarm bell. In young plants, on the other hand, especially foreign ones and Italian ones, this pathology affects the rootstocks reducing their growth. Furthermore, the latter show a poor bonding to the mother plant and a fruitful production that is delayed if not even scarce.

Symptoms and damage



The most obvious symptoms of the attack of this pathology appear first of all on the leaves. The latter in fact have brighter patches of green or even yellowish at the edges, while the internal veins remain green. Over time, the spots turn brown to dry the leaf and cause it to fall early. The shoots are characterized by a delay in the lignification, up to the desiccation as well as the buds that slow down their germination. On the berries there is finally a purple punctuation, both on the skin and on their attachment. The formation of dark spots on the skin is not caused by the fungus in itself but by its production of toxic substance in the woody tissue. This particular disease affects table grapes more than anything else, as the vinifera grape is more resistant to pathogenic fungi.

Symptoms in the wood of the vine caused by the esca malady



As a vascular disease, it is immediately clear how rapid its infection is. The wood of the vine is the first to be affected by the attack of the pathogen and, following the entanglement of the leaves, it has dark veins along its bark. When there is the suspicion of infestation, just cut the wood at the black streaks and you will notice the leakage of tarry matter. In this case there are no more doubts about the presence of the esca malady. A lot of attention must be paid to pruning wounds that represent the first access way used by the fungus to attack the lymphatic vessels. Because of this, wood denotes entire brownish sections instead of just streaks, highlighting the rather advanced stage of infection. With the passing of the seasons, and the increase in access points, caries can form in the wood, always of fungal origin, assisted by the presence of the esca malady. The latter in fact can also be a vehicle for other pathologies that in this case make the wood spongy and crumbly.

Grapevine bait: Care and prevention



There are no chemical products on the market that can counteract the malady of the vine. The only way to combat it is to implement a series of precautions that prevent its proliferation. The root cuttings must be observed carefully from the purchase in the nursery, in order to make sure that the propagation material does not reach the sick cultivation and that it has undergone treatments in hot water. The treatment of rooted cuttings in fact is the only system that prevents the onset of the disease. However, the new plants will not show signs of infestation until after the first two or three years, and it is important to mark the plants that they consider to be sick so that they can replace the cuttings before the infection spreads to the whole cultivation. In autumn the vines that presented the symptoms of esca malady, must be cut a few centimeters under the carious wood adding a cicatrizant product near the opening. Chemical recovery treatments often give poor results. It is therefore useless to implement these procedures.


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