`Corsica Olive Trees Threatened as Killer Bacteria Hits Island - Olive Oil Times

Corsica Olive Trees Threatened as Killer Bacteria Hits Island

By Alice Alech
Jul. 27, 2015 09:20 UTC

Xyella fas­tidiosa (Xf), the dreaded olive tree killer, has hit the French island Corsica. Positive cases have been iden­ti­fied in Myrtle-leaf Milkwort plants in Propiano South Corsica and con­firmed by France’s Ministry of Agriculture.
See Also:Complete cov­er­age of the Xf out­break
The pre­fec­ture of Corse Sud (South Corsica) has started an emer­gency plan to uproot trees and dis­in­fect the whole area and amid fears that a sit­u­a­tion sim­i­lar to that in neigh­bour­ing Puglia Italy might arise on the island.

Today, the island boasts 7,000 hectares of olive groves, a wor­ry­ing thought for Corsica if the dis­ease spreads to the north of the island. Olive trees have grown here for thou­sands of years and pick­ing olives is an old tra­di­tion for the peo­ple of Corsica who see the olive tree as a tree of life.

Mainland France is also in dan­ger should the dreaded dis­ease spreads, as up until now the only solu­tion is to uproot the trees. France boasts four mil­lion olive trees and pro­duced an esti­mated 5,000 tons of olive oil in 2013/2014.


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