Pink disease of citrus: declared pest

Page last updated: Friday, 9 December 2016 - 2:06pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Pink disease (Erythricium salmonicolor) is a serious pest of citrus that can affect entire limbs and/or kill trees. This pest is not known to occur in Western Australia. Early detection and reporting of this pest will help protect Western Australian citrus growers.

What plants are affected?

Pink disease can infect all citrus species, numerous other woody natives and non-citrus crops that are grown either commercially or in home gardens.

Erythricium salmonicolor has been reported on multiple citrus species in several Australian states and territories. It has also been reported on a wide range of non-citrus hosts.

What do I look for?

Pink disease primarily affects citrus limbs and trunks. During humid or wet conditions E. salmonicolor forms a white-pink-grey coloured encrusting hyphal mass, which can spread rapidly along limbs.

The fungus causes characteristic bark necrosis and gumming on stems and branches. Dead bark often appears faded and grey. Death of limbs or trunks can occur when the fungus 'ringbarks' a limb or trunk.

Pink disease is sometimes first noticed as a scattering of dead limbs throughout an orchard.

What damage can this pest cause?

Although E. salmonicolor disease does not affect leaves or fruit, economic losses result from the death of major limbs or entire trees.

What do I do if I find it?

Erythricium salmonicolor (Berk. & Broome) Burds. 1985 is a prohibited organism for Western Australia. It is important that suspected disease occurrence is reported. Please contact the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) to report this pest.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080