Susceptibility of Five Landscape Pines to Pitch Canker Disease, Caused by Fusarium subglutinans f. sp. pini

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  • 1 Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
  • 2 Division of Insect Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

Pitch canker, caused by Fusarium subglutinans f. sp. pini, causes branch dieback and stem cankers in many species of pine. Monterey pine (Pinus radiata D. Don), one of the most widely planted pines in the world, is extremely susceptible to pitch canker. Four other pine species, which might serve as alternatives to Monterey pine in landscape settings, were found to be relatively resistant, based on the size of lesions resulting from branch inoculations under greenhouse conditions. Of these species, Japanese black pine (P. thunbergiana Franco) was the most resistant, followed by Canary Island pine (P. canariensis Sweet ex K. Spreng), Italian stone pine (P. pinea L.), and Aleppo pine (P. halepensis Mill.). Consistent with these findings, a field survey conducted in Alameda County, Calif., revealed Monterey pine to have the highest incidence of infection, with significantly lower levels in Aleppo, Canary Island, and Italian stone pines. Japanese black pine was not observed in the survey area.

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