FABIan conducts a Eucalyptus root-rot disease survey 2018-07-11
In recent years, increasing reports of Eucalyptus nitens mortality, as a result of root-rot has been received from foresters across the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces of South Africa. To date, it has not been possible to conclusively identify the cause(s) of the mortality. FABI’s Sappi-funded Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Tanay Bose and Prof. Jolanda Roux (Programme Leader: Pests and Diseases at Sappi Forests and Extraordinary Professor at FABI), visited various Sappi plantations in the Mpumalanga Province during the week of 2-6 July, to collect root-rot samples from diseased Eucalyptus species for the identification of the causal agent(s) of the disease. It was evident from this survey that this root-rot disease is not only restricted to E. nitens. Various Eucalyptus species such as E. smithii, E. badjensis and E. benthamii are also affected. Further field visits are planned as new reports are received from industry. Any one observing freshly dying eucalypts are encouraged to contact Tanay or Jolanda with information.