Crown Gall on Ficus

jamiedolan(4/5)November 19, 2010


My Ficus Benajamia Bonsai has some how become infected with Crown Gall. Everything I can find online says to dispose of the tree, and treat the soil. They stuff I read seems to be directed at planted trees and not containerized trees. It is a 25 year old + Bonsai so I'd prefer to treat it if at all possible and economically feasible.

I got the tree just over 2 months ago, and it looked healthy then with no signs of crown gall. About a month ago, it started dropping some leaves, and a small section of the crown of the tree seemed to die off. Then I put it under the lights and it seemed to be looking better, then I found the crown gall.

It is in a DE / grit mix. I generally water it pretty close to daily, it seems to suck up quite a bit of water. The person I bought it from had also watered it daily. Last week I started using Foliage Pro and Proteckt on it. It has been under florescent lights for the past just over 3 weeks. I just noticed the gall yesterday, so I think it must have developed quite recently.

Last night I sprayed and watered it with a Neem Oil mix (Dyna-Gro Neem oil & Proteckt mixed and applied per label directions), in case there is something like aphids attacking the roots that allowed the crown gall to enter the trees root system.

Would it be worth getting some Azamax and treating with that in case there is a bug present or will the neem oil be enough?

I assume I need to cut the gall off, but do I treat the area where I cut the gall off, and if so, with what?

What are the trees chances?



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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Chances of recovery, if it is crown gall, are poor. If it helps your research, Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the bacteria that causes the infection and swollen, unsightly bumps (tumors/galls) on trunks, branches .... sometimes roots and leaves.

It's up to you if you want to research treatment. I'd look into copper sprays like Bordeaux mix. I would probably destroy the plant, then disinfect tools to prevent its spread to other trees.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:07AM
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Thanks for your response. In hopes that I misdiagnosed it, I just took some photos of the Ficus and will post below. It was a pretty cool tree, especially the exposed root system. It will be really disappointing if I have to trash it just 2 months after I bought it, but from what I have read, it doesn't sound like it was caused be me doing something wrong.

Photos taken 11/20/2010:

Thanks very much for your guidance.


P.S. Everything in the gritty mix has been doing very well. We have re-planted many house plants and have used up about 7 cu ft of the gritty mix already. Even the big schef that had the traumatic replanting seems to be doing well now that it is in the gritty mix.
I've been using Foliage Pro on everything and have been very happy with the way my plants have been looking. I started adding in Proteckt from Dyna-Gro as well. I'll get some current photos together and make a post to show off everything that is in gritty mix. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:38AM
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