Field visit to inspect Ceratocystis infected Eucalyptus 2018-07-03
During the week of 25-29 June, Prof Mike Wingfield and Dr Irene Barnes visited Sappi’s tree health specialists Prof Jolanda Roux and her colleague Kayla Noeth to inspect Eucalyptus trees infected by a species of Ceratocystis. This is the first incidence of a Ceratocystis species killing Eucalyptus in South Africa and the field visit provided an opportunity for the group to discuss the problem and to plan future research that will inform management options for the disease. A key objective will be to determine the species of Ceratocystis responsible for the disease, to determine how the pathogen is spreading and to evaluate risks to the South African forestry industry. An initial objective and part of this field visit was to inspect trees inoculated with the pathogen and that have been required to prove pathogenicity of the Ceratocystis sp. This preliminary trial set up by Prof Roux has shown provided the first conclusive evidence of a high level of aggressiveness of the fungus.