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Cost Share Funds Available to Cherry and Stone Fruit Producers through Grant for X-disease and Little Cherry Disease Tree Removal

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Washington State University Extension in partnership with county Conservation Districts and Pest Boards announce availability of cost share funds for the removal and testing of trees infected with X-disease and Little cherry disease to slow the spread of these devastating pathogens. Funding is available through a grant from the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grants. Funding is available beginning October 1, 2021, pending USDA approval.

Eligible cherry, peach, nectarine, plum and other stone fruit orchards must have suffered a tree loss due to confirmed X-disease phytoplasma or Little cherry virus. The affected orchard must be within 10 miles of other orchards owned by another legal entity. Greater than 20 trees must have been removed with costs incurred after 9/30/2021. Reimbursement levels are up to 50% cost share for up to ten acres (up to $7,500 per applicant). A total of $225,000 will be disbursed over three years.

X-disease and Little Cherry Disease cause small, pale, bland, unmarketable fruit in cherries. In peaches, plums, and nectarines X-disease symptoms are typically yellowed curled leaves and shot hole as well as small-deformed fruit. These are long-term, debilitating diseases for infected trees. Infected trees must be removed to stop the spread of the pathogen. They cannot be cured. The economic impacts of tree removal are long lasting to growers during the seven-year re-establishment period costing growers an average of $118,095 in establishment and lost revenue per acre. The goal of this program is to provide cost share stipends for the removal and testing of trees infected with X-disease and Little cherry disease to slow the spread of these devastating pathogens.

For more information and applications go to http://treefruit.wsu.edu/cost-share-for-little-cherry-and-x-disease-tree-removal/. Applications will be processed through your county contact:

  • Will Carpenter, Chelan-Douglas-Okanogan County Pest Board, Will.Carpenter@CO.CHELAN.WA.US (509) 393-0975
  • Pam Loa, Franklin County Pest Board, ploa@co.franklin.wa.us (509) 545-35-80, (509) 430-1535
  • Mark Neilson, Benton County Conservation District, mark-nielson@conservewa.net (509) 366-1678
  • Keith Mathews, Yakima County Pest Board, keith.mathews@co.yakima.wa.us (509) 571-5210
  • Elliot DeLong, Grant County Conservation District, elliott-delong@conservewa.net (509) 765-9618

For additional questions contact: Tianna DuPont, WSU Extension (509) 713-5346 tianna.dupont@wsu.edu

Washington State University