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Gregory L. Reighard and Eldon I. Zehr

`Redhaven' peach trees were planted on a nonfumigated peach tree short life (PTSL) site in Pontiac, S.C. The experimental design was a split plot with 12 replicates. Preplant subplot treatments were 0, 3, and 6 kg of hydrated lime mixed with 1.9 cubic meters of native soil (Lakeland sand) per planting hole. Main plot treatments consisted of mixing in the planting holes 0 or 5 liters of soil taken from a nearby orchard site that had shown “suppressive” tendencies towards ring nematode reproduction. Hydrated lime treatments increased soil pH by 0.6 to 1.4 units. Boron deficiency occurred in the 6-kg plots. Hydrated lime did not significantly reduce PTSL as 88%, 79%, and 92% of the trees in the 0-, 3-, and 6-kg plots, respectively, died from PTSL by the fifth year. No differences in survival were found between the nonsuppressive and suppressive soil treatments, as both had 86% tree death from PTSL. No trends in ring nematode populations were found among treatments.

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Gregory L. Reighard, Eldon I. Zehr, and Freddi Hammerschlag

Peach tree short life (PTSL) is a serious peach tree disease syndrome on replant orchard sites in the Southeast. Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae is a bacterial disease often associated with tree injury and death on these PTSL sites. Rootstocks that have better tolerance to ring nematodes such as Lovell have less PTSL death. Tissue-cultured peach embryos and/or explants have shown increased resistance to Pseudomonas syringae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni, another bacterial peach pathogen, in laboratory and greenhouse screenings. Tissue-cultured `Redhaven' (RH), `Redskin' (RS), and `Sunhigh' (SH) peach cultivars on their own roots were planted with SH seedlings and RH and RS budded to Lovell rootstock on a severe PTSL site in South Carolina. Treatments beside cultivar/rootstock combination included preplant fumigation vs. nonfumigation. PTSL appeared in the third year and by year 4 significant tree death occurred. Tissue-cultured RH, RS, and SH trees had 54%, 55%, and 88% PTSL death, respectively, compared to RH (17%) and RS (29%) on Lovell or the SH seedlings (25%). Fumigation significantly decreased PTSL in both RS combinations but not RH. These data suggest that the tolerance of the cultivar root system to PTSL-inducing factors such as ring nematodes was more important in PTSL than scion resistance to bacteria.