How to make a simple and inexpensive passive and pressurized infusion system for systemically applied pest control substances to fruit trees

Jonathan H. Crane, W. Montas, E. A. Evans, R. Olszack

Abstract


Laurel wilt (Raffaelea lauricola) is a lethal fungal pathogen that spreads by several ambrosia beetle species (e.g., Xyleborus glabratus) and through root grafts among adjacent avocado (Persea americana) trees. Laurel wilt spread through root grafts among adjacent avocado trees has resulted in much more tree mortality than by beetle infestations. Research has demonstrated that control of laurel wilt requires applications of systemic fungicide by infusion prior to disease infection. However early cost analysis of infusion methodology indicated it was not cost effective to treat an entire grove. The current disease control recommendation is to infuse healthy avocado trees that are adjacent to trees infected with laurel wilt; these infected areas of a grove are termed hot spots. We borrowed design components from a local producer and commercial tree service company systems in an effort to make less expensive but serviceable passive and pressurized infusion systems. Our infusion systems equipment cost six to eight times less than commercial systems. Recent cost analysis includes these less expensive systems, labor to apply fungicide, and fungicide material to control laurel wilt and suggests use of these infusion systems may be cost effective, especially when used to treat hot spots.


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283