Phytosanitary situation of fruit crops in Albania
From 1991 to 1994, Albania has faced extremely important economic and social changes which have also affected agriculture, and in particular fruit production. In 1990, 13 million trees were grown in Albania, but in 1994 this was reduced to 3.5 million trees. The main crops are plum, apple, fig, cherry, pear, and also apricot and peach. The authors stressed that for many reasons, it is difficult to describe precisely the phytosanitary situation of orchards in Albania, but that the following main characteristics can be given.
The main fungal pathogens on apple and pear are Venturia inaequalis and V. piricola. Some apple cultivars are also very susceptible to Podosphaera leucotricha. On peach, Taphrina deformans is the most damaging disease. On plum, Taphrina pruni and Polystigma rubrum can cause losses. During 1993-1994, extensive surveys were carried out on viruses, in 81 commercial orchards and 9 collections (see also EPPO RS 94/142). Plum pox potyvirus (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) is the most dangerous virus disease, especially in the areas where apricot and peach are grown. Plum is affected by plum pox potyvirus (PPV) in the South East of the country where 2/3 of the plants show symptoms. In other infected regions, the level of infection is 10-20 %. But in the North and South of Albania, PPV is not found. Other viruses detected were apple chlorotic leaf spot trichovirus, prune dwarf ilarvirus and prunus necrotic ringspot ilarvirus.
Concerning bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens can cause problems in nurseries. Erwinia amylovora (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) was reported last year in the district of Pogradeci, based on symptoms observed in a pear orchards grown from imported material. Recently the occurrence of fireblight has been confirmed by laboratory tests. The authors stressed that further data on the distribution of this dangerous disease are needed.
The main pests found in orchards are the following. Cydia pomonella is common on apple, Quadraspidiotus perniciosus (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) is widespread and especially harmful on apple, Iponomeuta malinellus is normally not very dangerous in commercial orchards but can be very abundant on abandoned trees. Leucoptera malifoliella, Phyllonorycter blancardella, Panonychus ulmi and Psylla pyri are also commonly reported in Albania.
The records of Erwinia amylovora and Quadraspidiotus perniciosus in Albania are new according to the EPPO Secretariat.
Isufi, E.; Myrta, A. (1996) [Disease and pest control of fruit trees in Albania: problems and perspectives].
Informatore Fitopatologico, no.1, 33-36.