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A “hotspot” of Armillaria root rot in a peach orchard.

Armillaria root rot (ARR), also known as oak root rot, is a fungal root disease prematurely killing many stone fruit crops throughout the U.S. In particular, ARR is a serious threat to crop production in South Carolina and Georgia on peach, in Michigan on cherry, and in California on almonds. For example, ARR is currently the primary cause of premature peach tree decline in South Carolina and Georgia with an estimated annual loss of 3-4% of all peach trees, resulting in approximately $8 million in economic losses every year. With no effective management controls available, formerly productive orchard sites are rendered unsuitable for further production. Given the severity of the ARR threat on multiple Prunus crops, research and extension teams from around the nation are working together to develop both short and long-term solutions to ARR.