The topics for this year’s Güttingen information day were the Swiss national action plan for plant protection products, organic fertilisers and pests in fruit growing. There was a particular focus on the health of tree bark.
Growers attending the event received information on fruit tree canker and bark blight from Agroscope’s Sarah Perren and Anita Schöneberg.
Two questions for Sarah Perren und Anita Schöneberg
Why is bark health an important topic?
The bark protects the tree against environmental influences. Fruit tree canker causes excessive bark growth and also attacks the fruits, which become unsaleable. Black bark blight, on the other hand, only attacks trees that are already weakened, for example by heat and lack of water. In both cases, infection disrupts the growth of the bark, which may even kill the tree.
Have tree bark diseases like these increased in recent years?
The incidence and severity of fruit tree canker vary depending on the year and the weather conditions. Black bark blight has long been present in Europe, but its incidence is on the rise. High-stem trees that cannot be given additional watering in summer are particularly susceptible. One reason for the higher incidence may be the fact that Switzerland has seen increasingly hot and dry summers over the past two decades. Stressed fruit trees are more susceptible to fungal attack.
For more information, see the presentations on the page «Güttinger Tagung 2023» (in German).