Effective management of Verticillium wilt in olive groves

What is the Verticillium Wilt?

This is the greatest mycological problem of olive growing. Contributes to serious reducing of productivity, the damage of stocks of plants and to the soil impoverishment. Affects particularly the table olive varieties (irrigated crops) and it is mainly prevalent in Chalkidiki, Magnesia, Fthiotida, Fokida and Aitoloakarnania. It is spread through the ground affecting the trees from the root. It causes blockage of trees’ vessels resulting to hemiplegia, apoplexy and necrosis of the trees. The fungus can remain in the ground in absence of host for many years rendering the grounds unsuitable for cultivation. The fungicides are not effective.

What Ecodevelopment could do?

Early Diagnosis – Detection – Sitting of the disease using aerial multi-spectral images

Ecodevelopment has developed a diagnostic tool for the on time detection of symptoms from verticillium in olive, as well as of the infected trees with non-visible symptoms (initial stage of infection or asymptomatic stress) and provides an advisory service program of management, intervention and cultivation practices. By the use of remote sensing digital images by unmanned aerial vehicles, it is provided the potential to detect the infected trees at infection stages with non-visible symptoms so that the timely management of the fungus can be achieved. At the same time a “recipe” (recommendation) is provided for the treatment of the disease so that it becomes manageable and the reduction of olive grove’s yield can be prevented.

Description of provided services

  • Assessment of infected trees and detection of non-visible symptoms at an early stage of the infection using multi-spectral images and special algorithms.
  • Construction of hazard maps and their connection with a database in which the evolution of the disease will be recorded as well as the cultivation management for the trees’ recovery.
  • Prediction of the financial damage and estimation for the management cost.
  • Recommendation services for taking the appropriate management measures for the treatment.

 Image registration via optical and multi-spectral sensor of infected olive grove


Mapping of olive groves located in Agios Mamas of Chalkidiki showing characteristic gaps as a result of verticillium infection

Extraction of NDVI index

Extraction of Carotenoids’ index

Assessment of infestation per tree. The levels of infestation by verticillium estimated under the basis of statistic processing methods of individual indices

Management of verticillium with the use of beneficial competitors and of ZEOSHELL ZF1. A healthy tree, on the left, a treated tree, on the right. The treated tree has not just overcome the problem, but it’s also in a better condition than the tree that it has not been infected.