Identifying Phytophthora risk in plant nurseries

Phytophthora is a group of destructive plant pathogens that can pose significant risks to plant nurseries. These waterborne microorganisms thrive in moist environments and can cause devastating diseases in a wide range of plants, including trees, shrubs, and ornamentals. The primary mode of Phytophthora spread in nurseries is through infected water, soil and other growing media. Once introduced, the pathogens can rapidly spread within the nursery, leading to widespread infections and significant economic losses.

The risk of Phytophthora in plant nurseries is heightened by several factors. First, nurseries often provide ideal conditions for the pathogens to proliferate, such as high humidity, standing water, and a dense concentration of susceptible plant species. Additionally, the movement of plants and materials between different areas of the nursery increases the likelihood of pathogen transmission.

Phytophthora infections can have devastating consequences, including root rot, crown rot, and foliar diseases, which can result in plant death or stunted growth. These pathogens can also survive in the soil for extended periods, making it challenging to eradicate them once established in a nursery.

To mitigate the Phytophthora risk, nurseries may need to employ various preventive measures. These may include implementing strict sanitation practices, such as disinfecting tools, containers, and irrigation systems, to minimize pathogen spread. Quarantine protocols may be established to isolate new plant introductions and monitor them for signs of infection before introducing them to the nursery. Nurseries may also prioritize the use of resistant plant varieties, practice crop rotation, and ensure proper drainage and airflow to reduce favorable conditions for Phytophthora growth.

Regular monitoring and early detection of Phytophthora symptoms are crucial in managing the risk. If an outbreak occurs, prompt action is necessary to prevent further spread. Chemical treatments and biological controls may be employed to suppress the pathogens, but integrated pest management strategies and cultural practices are generally preferred for long-term management.

Forest Science Seminar: ‘Identifying Phytophthora risk in plant nurseries’.

What is this seminar about?

Invasive Phytophthora pathogens are causing significant economic damage to agricultural, horticultural and forestry crops worldwide, as well as ecological damage to native plant species in wider environments. These pathogens are well adapted to thriving in plant nurseries and traded plants are a well-documented pathway facilitating their spread both nationally and internationally.

Who is this seminar for?

This seminar will be of particular interest to practitioners working in plant/tree nurseries and suppliers, plant health policy makers and regulatory authorities, also landscape architects and those involved in the procurement of plants for planting schemes.

Important Documentation From Forest Science Webinar

Forest Science Webinar Slides

Follow along slides for the Firest Science Webinar on Phytophthora

Important Flyers From Forest Science Webinar

Reducing Phytophthora risk in nurseries

Flier explaing best methods of reducing risk in nurseries

Understanding high risk hosts for Phytophthora

Flier explaining the best approch when it comes to understand what is at risk with Phytophthora

Flyer Symptoms plants horticultural secto

Symptoms of Ill Health in Plants: An Introductory Guide for the Horticultural Sector