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Pest and Diseases of Olive Trees

Pest and Diseases of Olive Trees

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Published by draculavanhelsing
fact sheet
fact sheet

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: draculavanhelsing on Apr 17, 2013
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Department of 
For more information visit www.agric.wa.gov.au
The Chief Executive Ocer of the Department of Agriculture and Food and the State of Western Australia accept no liabilitywhatsoever by reason of negligence or otherwise arising from the use or release of this information or any part of it.
Important disclaimer
Pests and diseases of olive trees
Note: 548
October 2012
Keeping olive trees well-fed and adequatelywatered is the best initial defence against pestsand diseases, since vigorous trees are better ableto withstand attack and less likely to suffer long-term damage.Prune to keep the crown open and limit the height;then it is easier to spot problems, apply controlmeasures and pick the fruit. Harvest the entirecrop and bin any excess. Birds take the fruit andthe seeds may germinate some distance away.In natural habitats around Perth and in the south-west olive has become a weed.Chemical controls are not included in this
because some are withdrawn fromthe market from time to time. Once the pest ordisease has been identied ask garden centrestaff to suggest suitable products, when to usethem and whether repeat applications are needed.Remember that treatment of any pest or disease ismore successful when done in the earliest stage ofdevelopment.
Black scale ( 
Saissetia oleae
Severe infestations of black scale will stuntgrowth, cause early leaf-drop, cause branchesto die back and can cause a lack of fruit. Thescales produce honeydew on which sooty mouldgrows. This black powdery coating interferes withphotosynthesis, reduces tree vigour, reduces yieldand can taint the oil. The mould must be washedoff fruit before processing. Adult female black scales are 1.9 to 5 mm long,1 to 4 mm wide and 1.2 to 2.5 mm high. They are
By Stewart Learmonth
dark brown with an H-shaped ridge on the back.The surface becomes smoother and almost blackas they start producing eggs. When the scalecover is removed hundreds of eggs may be seen,looking like grains of sand.The eggs hatch into tiny young, known ascrawlers, which are pale pinkish orange. They aremost abundant in summer, rst appearing in earlyto mid-December, with a second generation inearly autumn. Spraying is most effective if aimedat the crawler stage. Using a x10 hand lens tocheck whether eggs have hatched under the scalecover helps dene the time to spray. Most eggshatch over a four to six week period, so more thanone spray may be required.
Parlatoria scale ( 
Parlatoria oleae
Parlatoria scales are circular and pale brownishgrey with a black spot in the middle. They aresmaller than black scales and are considered aless serious pest on olive trees.
 Apple weevil
Otiorhynchus cribricollis
Mainly a pest in the south-west, apple weevilsattack shoots and foliage, compromising thevigour of the tree. The ightless adults feed atnight; by day they are inactive and hide underbark, in the crotches of branches and betweenfruit and leaves, or burrow into the soil at the baseof the tree. Adult apple weevils are about 8 mmlong, uniform brown and slightly bulbous at theabdomen.
Sooty mould coating leaves and stems on olive. Ant ‘farming’ the black scale Apple weevil Ring barking damage caused by Apple weevil Mature female black scale on leaf Black scale eggs and crawlers
Larvae develop in the soil, from where the adultsemerge during November and December. Becauseadults are “hairy”, crafter’s batting wrappedaround the tree trunk will trap and desiccatemany of them. If the batting is sprayed withrepellent chemicals, the kill rate may be enhanced.Insecticides may also be used and should beapplied to the base of the trunk and the crotchesof branches, instead of the canopy where theycould kill benecial insects. Apple weevils breedon weeds such as capeweed, so weed removalhelps reduce their abundance.
Garden weevil ( 
Phlyctinus callosus
Considered a less important pest on olive trees,the garden weevil’s habits are similar to those ofapple weevil (see above). Adult garden weevils areabout 7 mm long and greyish brown with a palebut prominent V-shaped stripe on the lower part ofthe bulbous abdomen.Batting does not work as well against this weeviland sticky material applied on a substrate likea plastic band (to avoid ringbarking trees) mayprovide protection.
Rutherglen bug ( 
Nysius vinitor 
 Adult Rutherglen bugs are narrow bodied, about3 to 4 mm long and greyish brown with darkmarkings. The nymphs have a dark red swollenabdomen. The adults survive winter and breedin early spring. Large numbers do not usuallydevelop until early summer. Controlling summerand autumn weeds may be helpful in control,since this is where they breed.The damage that Rutherglen bugs cause whenfeeding on olive trees includes twig death andthe development of a scorched appearance onthe leaves. Young trees are most susceptible.Over small areas, canopy spraying with repellentmaterials during invasive ight periods may helpprotect trees.
Olive lace bug ( 
Froggattia olivinia
Olive lace bugs are about 3 mm long (includingthe wings) and mottled dark brown and cream,with black-tipped antennae. They pierce theleaves with their mouthparts. Although most ofthis activity takes place on the undersides ofthe leaves, the most common indications areon the upper surface which becomes mottledwith greenish to yellow-brown dots. With heavyinfestations the yellowing effect may dominate,leading to desiccation and leaf-drop, in turnreducing the vigour and yield of the tree.Eggs are inserted into the tissue on the undersidesof the leaves where they over-winter. In springmonitor the leaves for the emerging nymphs which
Rutherglen bugOlive lace bug adults and nymphs Apple weevil trapped by crafter’s batting

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