Common Breadfruit Diseases – How To Fix Unhealthy Breadfruit Trees

Common Breadfruit Diseases – How To Fix Unhealthy Breadfruit Trees

By: Mary Ellen Ellis
Image by Scot Nelson

Breadfruit is a tropical and subtropical tree that produces an abundance of tasty fruits. If you have the right climate for this tree, it’s a great decorative and useful addition to the landscape. Your breadfruit may get damaged by disease, though, so be aware of what may strike it and what to do with a sick breadfruit tree.

Breadfruit Diseases and Health

There are a number of diseases, pathogens, and infections that may attack your breadfruit tree. It is important to be aware of breadfruit disease symptoms and types so that you can take measures to save your tree before it is too late. Your tree will be less likely to succumb to illnesses if you take care of it and provide it with everything it needs to grow and be healthy.

This is a very tender tree, so growing it where temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) can make it susceptible to disease. It also needs fertile soil that runs deep and drains well, a lot of humidity, and a seasonal application of basic fertilizer.

Diseases of Breadfruit Trees

Unhealthy breadfruit trees will not produce adequately and may even die. Know what diseases may afflict your tree so you can protect or treat it as appropriate:

Breadfruit fruit rot. This infection is fungal and begins to show signs on lower fruit. The first sign is a brown spot that turns white with mold spores. It is usually spread by contaminated soil splashing up onto the fruit and then by wind. You can prevent fruit rot by trimming back low branches and removing any affected fruit before they contaminate the rest. Mulching under the tree also helps.

Anthracnose. This is another fungal infection, but unlike fruit rot it causes leaf blight. Look for small dark spots on leaves that grow larger and turn gray in the middle. Infection may set in where insects have caused damage. This disease can cause severe damage to trees, so remove affected branches as soon as you see it. A fungal spray may also help halt the disease. Protecting your tree from insects will make it less susceptible.

Root rot. Some types of fungus can cause root rot in breadfruit. Rosellinia necatrix is one such soil-dwelling fungus that can quickly kill a tree. It can be hard to catch, but it may help to ensure your soil drains well and that young trees especially are not in standing water.

Insects. Breadfruit trees are susceptible to infestations of mealybugs, soft scale, and ants. Look for signs of these insects and use sprays if needed to manage infestations that may cause damage or make your tree more vulnerable to fungal infections.

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