According to Italian Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Paolo De Castro (S&D) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), about 8,000 hectares of olive groves in the Salento area of Puglia are already affected and about 600,000 olive trees will need to be destroyed.
“Serious threat to European olive growers”
Silvestris said it was the first appearance in Europe of the plant pathogen, which experts considered “a serious threat to European olive growers, given the pace at which the disease is spreading.”
Large-scale pruning of olive trees to remove parts dried out by the disease is underway in the area between Gallipoli and Ugento in the Salento region, under the coordination of the Puglia regional authorities and producer organizations, he said.
Among other measures he called for money for an emergency program of scientific research and plant health measures, and a European crop pathogen genome database to centralize information on bacteria and parasites. read more at oliveoiltimes
Bacterial Brown Spots on Olive Trees
Bacterial leaf scorch caused by Xylella fastidiosa, is a systemic disease.
Very few bacterial diseases affect olive trees, the most common of which are bacterial gall or “olive knot” and bacterial leaf scorch. If your olive trees have a bacterial disease that causes brown spots, the culprit is most likely bacterial leaf scorch, also called Oleander leaf scorch, which is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Bacterial leaf scorch infects the xylem or water-conducting plant tissues, via insects called sharpshooters.