centre o the tree. This damage disrupts the tissuethat carries water and nutrients to the crown. Insevere inestations the tree will rot and all over.There is no registered chemical control, but burningo excess oliage (thatch) every 3–4 years will makethis an unsuitable haven or pests. Burning o doeslittle damage to the green crown, as it actuallypromotes growth as it would in a natural fre.
Root DiseaseRoot rot (
This ungal pathogen causes the roots to rot,preventing the grass tree to take up water andnutrients. It is usually present in damp or poorlydrained soils but will also survive drought. Asa result the central leaves wilt and turn brown,causing the crown to collapse and the trunk to rot.Phosphorous acid sprays can be applied in theearly stages o decline. However as the diseasemay be present without showing symptoms,sometimes control is not successul. Phytophthoramay be in existing soil as a dormant spore orit can be introduced into the home garden via
Bardi grubs on Xanthorrhoea
contaminated soil. There have been examples oPhytophthora moving through the soil water roma higher elevated garden, to another garden at alower level some distance away aecting a varietyo susceptible plants such as roses and coniers.The Department o Agriculture and Food (AgwestPlant Laboratories 9368 3721 )can test soilsamples or a ee.
There are ew oliar pathogens recorded or Xanthorrhoeas. The plants have adapted todry conditions by having thick waxy needles toprevent water loss, as well as acting as a barrier toungal attack. Foliar lea spot pathogens are morecommon on the coastal plains than urther inland.
Symptoms are frst visible as black ecks in thelea tissue. These ecks develop to encompassthe entire lea and will spread to the rest o thecrown. Apply mancozeb to protect leaves romurther inection. However, i the disease hasprogressed too ar, control may be ineective.