Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 60, Number 1 (2017) Influence of Phytophthora Root Rot on Planting Trends of Fraser Fir Christmas Trees in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Influence of Phytophthora Root Rot on Planting Trends of Fraser Fir Christmas Trees in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

The Southern Appalachian Mountains are home to the attractive Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursch) Poir.] that began to be cultivated for Christmas trees in the 1950s. Today, 5 to 6 million trees are harvested annually in this region, yielding a wholesale value of more than $100 million. Since the 1960s, however, Phytophthora root rot has been a problem for Christmas tree production in this region. This article gives a brief history of Fraser fir cultivation and how Phytophthora root rot has influenced planting practices. It also presents the results from surveys of Christmas tree growers about planting trends and their perspectives of the Phytophthora disease problem. Even though most growers have shifted from using locally produced bareroot seedlings to out-of-State-grown planting stock, Phytophthora root rot continues to have a major impact on Fraser fir plantations, and new Phytophthora species have recently been found on Fraser fir.


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Author(s): Martin Pettersson, John Frampton, Jill Sidebottom

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volumes 60, Number 1 (2017)

Volume: 60

Number: 1

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