Blackberry Virus?

jtburtonAugust 5, 2013

IâÂÂm trying really hard not to be a âÂÂgarden hypochondriacâ but I also donâÂÂt want a significant investment in money and effort to go down the drain by letting sick plants hang around and infect the berry patch. Other than fungal leaf spots, most of the blackberries and raspberries seem to be doing fine. The one exception is my Kiowa blackberries. The Kiowas grew pretty well this year but now I have a couple of plants with leaves that are turning red early, which I recall happened last year too. I noticed that on several of the dying leaves, small ringspots are present. I have tried to research these symptoms and there are several common blackberry viruses (e.g. Tomato & Tobacco ringspot viruses and the Impatiens necrotic spot virus) that present this way. Could this be an environmental cause due to all of the rainfall and cool weather this year - I just donâÂÂt know. IâÂÂd hate to pull up several productive, large blackberry plants but I fear the worst if I donâÂÂt. Anybody have any blackberry virus experience they would like to share?

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Here's a second leaf.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Septoria leaf spot (makes hole-shot rings) perhaps more common on caneberries, but your leaves don't look like that.
Images do not look like mosaic virus either.

What percentage of leaves are doing this? It is common for aging caneberry leaves, especially the older, lower leaves on last year's canes that fruited this year, to look pretty ratty or discolored.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:00PM
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I have already removed the flouricanes after fruiting and now just have primocanes on the Kiowas. The lower leaves on the plant have some red tinges and some spotting. If I thought the condition wouldn't spread, I'd just leave the plant as is and see what happens. The plant otherwise has grown well this year and fruited well earlier this year.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 6:36AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Its called early Dormancy happens in August in zone 8B I Panic when saw my plants 2003 send to Laboratory they scope plant parts and report was Early Dormancy nothing worry about.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I'm with gator, nothing to worry about. The spotting is too regular to be a virus.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:25AM
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That's good to hear. The Kiowas were strange this year in the fact that they were actually sprouting leaves in February, even when the temperatures were still below freezing at night (even in the high teens). I didn't think that was possible but it happened. Do you think that has something to do with this variety having a low chill requirement? If they started up early would they shut down earlier?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 12:15PM
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