`Corsica Olive Trees Threatened as Killer Bacteria Hits Island

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Corsica Olive Trees Threatened as Killer Bacteria Hits Island

Jul. 27, 2015
Alice Alech

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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 more: 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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