Pest Alert: Dothiorella sarmentorum

Dieback_Dothiorella sarmentorum

This image was taken from the neglected organic orchard where dieback was detected.

APAL is calling on growers to be vigilant in checking crops for dieback, caused by pest threat Dothiorella sarmentorum, and recently detected in Victoria. 

Victorian State Biosecurity officers have detected a fungal pathogen Dothiorella sarmentorum which has been reported as causing dieback symptoms in young two year old apple trees. 

There are three records of Dothiorella sarmentorum on other crops in Australia’s Plant Pest Database, however, this is the first time the pathogen has been recorded as affecting apple trees in Australia — although it is known to have caused damage in the United States and the Netherlands.

“There is not enough information out there to know how exactly the pest effects apple trees, so as a result APAL is calling on growers to be vigilant in checking their crops for dieback and then submitting any suspect samples for diagnostic testing,” said APAL Technical Manager Angus Crawford.

Dothiorella sarmentorum is not listed as an Emergency Plant Pest under schedule 13 of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed and is not listed in any industry biosecurity plans. This detection has meant that the host range of Dothiorella sarmentorum which caused the dieback has been extended to apple or, Malus domestica.

“In this case images taken from the neglected, organic orchard site indicated the trees were likely to be drought stressed which may have increased susceptibility to such a pathogen. Dieback is a condition where a tree begins to die from the tip of its leaves or roots backwards as a result of disease or an unfavourable environment such as chronic water stress,” explains Angus.

If you see anything unusual or suspicious either on your orchard or anywhere else you must call the exotic plant pest hotline on 1800 084 881.

For more information contact Angus Crawford 03 9329 3511 or


By |April 12th, 2017|News, Pests, diseases and weeds|

About the Author:

Communications and Events Officer, Apple and Pear Australia
03 9329 3511