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Pests and Diseases
Noni Stem Canker
noni stem lesion (canker)
A noni stem lesion (canker) at the interface between succulent (green) and woody (brown) tissue leaves a gaping hole in the bark.

Disease: Noni stem canker.

Pathogen: The cause noni stem canker is unknown, although the disease is associated with an unidentified species of fungus (an ascomycete).

Symptoms: Noni stem canker is characterized by a progressive rot of stem at the interface between woody and green stem tissues. Stem may be girdled and collapse, leading to plant death. Stem lesions are irregular in shape with roughened, dark borders and an overall corky appearance.

Disease distribution: This disease is limited to high-rainfall areas where noni is grown, i.e., Puna district and Hilo/Panaewa on the island of Hawaii..

Impact: Some plants may recover from this disease with proper management.

Epidemiology: Noni stem canker is favored by warm, wet weather.

  1. In nurseries, rogue or prune severely infected plants. If pruning, sever the diseased stem at least 1 inch below the stem canker.
  2. Humidity management through plant spacing and pruning, weed control, good drainage, etc.
  3. Minimize stem wounding in nurseries.
  4. Protective or therapeutic applications of approved fungicides.
Notes: Noni stem canker has not been previously reported to occur in Hawaii or elsewhere in the world.

Last Updated on December 7, 2006