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Manage Root Suckers – a Component of Integrated X-disease Management

Root suckers provide easily accessible feeding sites for leafhopper vectors. Root suckers also tend to have higher levels of phytoplasma earlier in the season, likely due to movement of the pathogen from the roots where it overwinters (Wright et al.2022). Due to the high levels of phytoplasma and easy access for leafhoppers, root suckers pose a high risk for acquisition and transmission of X-disease. Ongoing trials have shown that removing root suckers reduces the movement of leafhopper vectors into the tree canopy and in turn reduces access to feeding sites on the tree. This reduction in feeding lowers the risk of X-disease transmission (Marshall unpublished data 2023).

Gramoxone SL 3.0, and Venue are options for root sucker control if sprayed while the root suckers are still green and haven’t turned woody.

Additional information

X-disease webpage

Little Cherry Virus webpage

Symptoms Gallery

X-disease Vector Gallery

Nursery Prevention of X-disease Phytoplasma and Little Cherry Virus Recommendations

BMPs for tree removal for X-disease and Little Cherry Virus infected trees

Case studies on tree removal for X-disease phytoplasma and Little cherry virus

Alternative weedy hosts for X-disease phytoplasma


Symptoms of Little Cherry Virus and X-disease Phytoplasma

Síntomas de Fitoplasma X y Little Cherry Virus

Symptoms of X-disease Phytoplasma in Stone Fruit

Síntomas de Fitoplasma X en Frutas de Hueso


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Corina Serban
WSU Extension
(509) 574-1595

Tianna DuPont
Tianna DuPont
WSU Extension
(509) 293-8758

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Bernardita Sallato
WSU Extension
(509) 439-8542

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Scott Harper
Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University
(509) 786-9230

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Tobin Northfield
WSU Entomology
(509) 293-8789


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