Potential Solution to Costly Western Colorado Peach Tree Losses In Sight
Western Colorado peaches are in jeopardy. Fortunately, a Colorado university has found a potential way to manage the threat.
According to apnews.com, every peach orchard in the Grand Valley shows signs of the fungus cytospora. A 2015 study revealed a mind-blowing 75% of the trees in each orchard showed signs of being infected. Each year this fungus costs local growers a whopping $6 million.
First of all, how does one pronounce the name of this fungus?
Sound the charge! Here comes Colorado State University. It seems CSU has found a way to manage the spread of this fungus. It's as simple as "painting" the trees with a protective chemical that prevents the spread of the infection.
What are the signs of cytospora? Will you know it when you see it? For that matter, how has the problem been dealt with thus far?
Why is this such a big deal in Grand Junction? According to apnews.com, the Grand Valley's peach trees are particularly vulnerable for a number of reasons. In the last few years, some local orchards have planted newer varieties of tree that are less resistant. That combined with extreme temperature swings in the wintertime, causing the tree bark to expand and contract, results in an ideal environment for the fungus to spread.
Let's get back to this chemical to be used to "paint" the trees. Why is it so effective? The latex paint does not prevent water from moving through the tree. The paint also reflects heat, keeping the bark's temperature more consistent.
This is a major concern for local growers. The only threat that comes close to this would be spring frosts. Considering this problem is costing Western Colorado growers millions each year, a solution is needed quickly.