The Q&A Archives: Oleander Tree Blight

Questioner's Location: north hollywood, Ca
Date: June 13, 2006

Question: how do I get rid of infestation to Oleander trees?
Will it effect my Oleander Bush close by?

Answer: Blight is a general term used to describe bacterial, viral, insect or fungal attacks on a single plant species in a particular region. Indicators typically include wilting, a burnt appearance and sudden death.

The oleander blight, which is caused by a strain of bacteria called Xylella fastidiosa, has killed off many of the county's oleander shrubs.

Blights are spread by insects, water droplets and wind so there is no sure way of protecting a nearby oleander shrub. If you're trying to control disease on a single plant you can try to do so by pruning out infected branches. Be sure to sterilize your pruners between cuttings.

To clean your tools, make a solution of a half cup chlorine bleach per gallon of water and soak your hand pruners, loppers and hedge shears for a half hour every month or so. Wipe dry.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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