Citrus canker is a serious disease that affects citrus trees worldwide. A bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas citri subsp, causes it. citri infects citrus plants’ leaves, stems, and fruits. Citrus canker can reduce the yield and quality of citrus fruits and make them unmarketable. This blog will discuss controlling citrus canker disease in citrus trees, including the symptoms, chemical and biological control methods, integrated pest management, cultural practices, and regulatory measures.
How to Control Citrus Canker Disease in Citrus Trees
Understanding Citrus Canker Disease
Wind, rain, insects, birds, humans, and contaminated tools and equipment are all sources of citrus canker disease spread. The bacteria get inside the plant through wounds or natural openings on the surface of the leaves, stems, and fruits. Yellow haloes surround the raised, corky lesions that the infection causes. The lesions may coalesce and form large necrotic areas that affect the photosynthesis and transpiration of the plant. The infected fruits may drop prematurely or develop unsightly blemishes that reduce their market value.
Symptoms of Citrus Canker Disease
The disease appears as characteristic lesions that serve as the orchard’s first warning indication of trouble. These lesions alert the eye to the potential danger by looking at corky, elevated patches on foliage and fruits. Because Xanthomonas axonopodis, the bacterial cause of these lesions, is present, early detection is essential.
Premature fruit drop is one of the citrus canker’s most alarming side effects. The lesions jeopardize the fruit’s structural integrity, hastening its separation from the tree. For orchard owners, this early shedding reduces yields and has a major negative financial impact. It becomes a race against time to act quickly when these symptoms are detected so that containment measures can be implemented immediately.
Implementing Chemical Control Measures for Citrus Canker
Chemical control is one of the methods to manage citrus canker disease. However, it is ineffective in eradicating the disease and may pose environmental and health risks. Therefore, chemical control should be used as a part of an integrated pest management program only when the disease pressure is high.
Some chemicals that control citrus canker are copper-based compounds, such as copper hydroxide, copper sulfate, and copper oxychloride. These chemicals act as bactericides that kill or inhibit the growth of the bacteria. They should be applied before or during rainy periods when the infection risk is high. However, they may also cause phytotoxicity or damage to the plant tissues if applied excessively or improperly.