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Report on a series of research and development technologies for prevention and treatment of "tree cancer" brown root disease-1

Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, COA, Executive Yuan R.O.C.
Chuen-Hsu Fu (Researcher)
Tel:886-2-2303-9978 ext. 2654

Inspection process for prevention and control of tree brown root disease and making of specimen inspection marks

In the prevention and control work of plant diseases and insect pests, the completion of chemicals spraying means the completion of prevention procedures, yet there are no procedures and methods for verification. In practice, the prevention and control of tree brown root disease (caused by Phellinus noxius ) is professional horticulture, landscaping or afforestation work. There should be standard operating procedures for each prevention project to ensure its completion and improvement. In the evaluation process of the prevention and control agents, the Forest Research Institute found many blind spots in the use of the pathogenicity of tree brown root disease, and the main inconvenience is the lack of specific result for inspection within a short time, while the wood decay fungus characteristics of brown root disease can provide a relatively fast and accurate evaluation basis, that is, observing the pathogen-tree brown root disease fungi to determine the prevention and control effect.

The following example presents the application of this technology. First, this technology can be used to verify whether the control method is effective for both effective and ineffective methods in the process of tree brown root disease control and inspection. Some organizations use intravenous drip, injection of drugs or microbial preparations to treat trees. After the prevention and treatment process is over, the sampling method is used to directly cultivate the pathogenic fungi from trees which the prevention and treatment have been completed as the specimen for evaluation. Once the tree brown root disease pathogenic fungi (P. noxius) are cultivated from the sampled trees, it means that the method is ineffective. For the site clearance (the approach of eliminating the source of infection) is used with soil treatment, we can evaluate or verify the treatment methods with customized specimens or inspection marks according to the treatment method because it is inconvenient to obtain the original infected trees or root tissues. For example, when the soil is treated with the chemicals or biological agents after the garden is cleared, the specimens or inspection marks can be placed according to the respective application methods and the buried specimens or inspection marks can be retrieved for cultivation after the treatment is completed. If the tree brown root disease pathogenic fungi are cultivated, it indicates that the treatment method is ineffective or fails to achieve the expected effect. This set of validated technologies can identify many ineffective control methods.

This effective control method can also be used to verify whether the expected control effect can be achieved for different manufacturers and environments. This inspection method is very simple and effective: cultivating the brown root disease pathogen, producing marks, embedding and taking out of the marks in the area, and cultivating the retrieved inspection marks in the treatment area. If the brown root pathogen can be isolated and cultured, it means that the pathogen has not been killed and the treatment in the area has not achieved the effect. If the brown root disease has not been cultivated, if means the pathogenic fungi in the area has been killed, indicating that the treatment has achieved the effect. This standard depends on the contract of the owner. At present, the most acceptable inspection standard to the owner is not to be detected of any pathogenic fungi. The requirement on the number of inspection marks to be buried in an application area depends on the contract of the owner. Once the control project fails to pass the inspection and acceptance, it must be re-implemented. The main purpose of this technology transfer is to allow the service providers and the owners to have a basis for inspection or acceptance, so that the prevention and control of tree brown root disease can be implemented.


Procedure of tree surgery


The technique of tree surgery has been used for a long time. For example, when the branches of trees are sick and withered or the surface is covered with scale insects, a saw is used to trim the affected tissues and remove the injured tissues so that the insects can no longer spread the infection. In addition, there is the root surgery performed by tree doctors, which is not so commonly seen. If the roots of the fruit trees are infected by Ganoderma lucidum root and butt rot, brown root disease or white root rot disease, the infected roots will be removed and the infected soil will be replaced by clean soil in order to rescue these fruit trees. This process of keeping fruit trees from being harmed is also a kind of tree surgery.

Early tree surgery mainly deals with the affected area, and the treatment steps are quite simple. There are few different treatment methods according to various wound forms or pathogens. The tree surgery procedure developed by the Forest Research Institute is a systematic summarization of the types and methods of treatment, supplemented with the necessary equipment for detection and application of corresponding agents. If needed, fillers and supporting structures are added to restore the health of the treated trees, accelerate the healing of wounds, and prevent the tree’s falling due to wind or falling without warning in the future. The implementation of this technology is mainly for protecting old trees or trees of special value under management. An overall assessment should be carried out before implementation to determine the processing sequence and identify the processing parts and individual treatment methods. This technology has been gradually improved and transferred to the merchant after a decade of development. Seven companies have undertaken this technology and used it to rescue hundreds of trees with cultural and emotional values.

        The main feature of this technology is that it is not a static technology. This technology can evolve with the advancement of equipment and supporting structures. In order to successfully rescue more old trees and promote the manufacturers’ reputation, the operators undertaking this technology have also developed their respective supporting structure technologies, root-inducing technologies, and tree rooting technologies to make this technology more complete to rescue more valuable trees.