Xylella fastidiosa has spread to olive trees in France.
On Friday, September 6 France’s agriculture ministry said it had identified the first two cases of olive trees infected with the pathogen, which has destroyed scores of groves across Italy and the Mediterranean region.
In France, Xylella was first found on the island of Corsica in July 2015. At the time it affected myrtle-leaf milkwort plants — not olive trees.
The two infected olive trees, which were kept for ornamental purposes, were detected in the towns of Antibes and Menton in the South of France.
The ministry said the trees were infected by the same pauca subspecies of Xylella that has destroyed olive trees across Italy.
They said they would try to prevent the spread of the disease by destroying the two trees in the next few days and uprooting all other plants that are vulnerable to Xylella within a five-kilometer radius of the two reported cases.
Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacteria that has led to the destruction of olive trees in some regions, especially Puglia, Italy. Widespread efforts are underway at various local and international levels to control the pathogen.
Xylella is spread by xylem fluid-feeding insects.