Agriculture: Olive Pest Management Guidelines

Peacock Spot

  • Spilocaea oleaginea
  • Symptoms and Signs

    Peacock spot appears on leaves as sooty blotches that develop into black, circular spots about 0.1 to 0.5 inch (2.5–12 mm) in diameter. There may be a yellow halo around the spot. Infection occurs in the fall, with temperatures between 35oF and 80oF. The optimum temperature is 58oF to 75oF. About 48 hours of free moisture allows the germinating spores to infect the leaf and cause significant disease. The warmer the temperature (up to about 75oF), the shorter the time necessary for infection to occur; it can be as little as 14 hours. The pathogen also infects fruit and fruit stems, but lesions are observed most often on upper leaf surfaces of leaves low in the tree canopy. Leaves fall prematurely. When significant defoliation occurs, strong bloom fails to develop and crop production is substantially reduced. Twig death may occur as a result of defoliation, and productivity is eventually further reduced.

    Comments on the Disease

    This disease occurs throughout California's olive-growing regions, but coastal areas with high rainfall suffer the most. Cultivars vary in their susceptibility to this disease, but all are subject to infection.

    Outbreaks are sporadic, and the disease may take several years before it becomes serious enough to cause economic damage. Not all infected leaves fall from the tree, and the fungus survives in those that remain on the tree. The margins of these lesions enlarge in fall, and a new crop of spores develops there. New infections are associated with rainfall and mostly occur during fall and winter. By summer, most diseased leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving partially defoliated shoots with mostly healthy foliage remaining. High temperatures restrict spore germination and growth, thus the disease is inactive during the warm, dry summers in California.

    Management

    If olive trees exhibit peacock spot leaf symptoms, it is important to treat for it yearly. Apply a preventive treatment in late October before winter rains begin, and again in the spring if wet weather persists.

    Common name Amount to use REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (hours) (days)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least likely to cause resistance are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to the pesticide‚Äôs properties and application timing, honey bees, and environmental impact. Always read the label of the product being used.
     
    CAUTION: Application of methidathion with, or closely following, a fungicide containing lime will negate the insecticide's effectiveness. Apply methidathion before fungicides containing lime are applied.
     
    A. BORDEAUX MIXTURE# Label rates See labels See labels
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Multi-site contact (M1)
      COMMENTS: For information on making Bordeaux mixtures, see UC IPM Pest Notes: Bordeaux Mixture. Allowed with restrictions in organic agriculture. When used on organically grown produce, all ingredients must be certified organic. Observe the most restrictive label precautions and limitations of all products used.
     
    B. FIXED COPPER#
      (Various) Label rates See label See label
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Multi-site contact (M1)
      COMMENTS: Allowed with restrictions in organic agriculture. Not all copper compounds are approved for use in organic production; be sure to check individual products.
     
    C. COPPER SULFATE#
      (Various) Label rates See label See label
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Multi-site contact (M1)
      COMMENTS: Allowed with restrictions in organic agriculture. Not all copper compounds are approved for use in organic production; be sure to check individual products.
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
    # Acceptable for use on organically grown produce. Always check with your certifier if products are permissible to be used in your organic production system.
    1 Group numbers are assigned by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) according to different modes of actions. Fungicides with a different group number are suitable to alternate in a resistance management program. In California, make no more than one application of fungicides with mode-of-action group numbers 1, 4, 9, 11, or 17 before rotating to a fungicide with a different mode-of-action group number; for fungicides with other Group numbers, make no more than two consecutive applications before rotating to fungicide with a different mode-of-action group number.
    Text Updated: 03/14
    Treatment Table Updated: 03/14