|Young crown gall on a rose|
FL. dept. Ag and CS bugwood.org
The presence of galls on roots or the main stem of a plant may or may not affect the overall growth and productivity of the plant. Young plants with many galls and plants with a gall completely encircling the main stem are the most severely affected. Galls can restrict the flow of water and nutrients through the plant, resulting in reduced growth, low flower and fruit production, and in some cases wilting and death of leaves and stems. Plants with crown gall are more susceptible to drought stress, winter injury and secondary diseases like Armillaria root rot, that enter the plant through cracks in the gall. That being said many plants tolerate a few galls without showing any obvious above ground symptoms. Mature trees of some species have been found with many galls that appear to have little effect on the trees overall growth and productivity.
|Crown gall on the trunk of a peach tree|
G. Felton, UMN Extension
The crown gall bacteria are often brought into a yard or garden on infected plants or soil. A wound is necessary for the crown gall bacteria to infect a plant. Nursery activities like grafting, pruning and transplanting provide ample opportunity for the bacteria to enter and infect susceptible plant tissue. If the plant is actively growing at the time of infection, a gall can be seen in 2-4 weeks and hopefully the plant will be culled before sale. If the plant is dormant however, it may be a much longer time before the gall is visible and of course below ground galls may go completely undetected. If an infected plant is placed in the landscape, the crown gall bacteria can move into the soil and spread to other plants.
|Older crown galls on rose stem and roots|
M. Grabowski, UMN Extension