Fall Gold Raspberry bud deformity

Asked September 1, 2019, 4:27 PM EDT

I have some fall gold raspberry bushes and at the end of this season quite a few of them started having this bud deformity. The buds were slightly chlorotic, bunched, and never seemed to open into a flower. There were no obvious signs of pests or fungus. Any idea of what this could be? Maybe a virus?

Washington County Oregon raspberries

3 Responses

Fall Gold should be producing flowers at the end of the canes at the end of the growing season. When flowers become leaf-like we call that phyllody and it is generally caused by a strange bacterium called a phytoplasma. The symptoms do not look like the only phytoplasma disease described for raspberry called Rubus Stunt. It is also only found in Europe. I have forwarded this on to our virologist to comment.
There are some herbicides and potentially fungicides that can have some growth effects on plants. Have these been sprayed with anything in particular this year? Either on the plants or on the ground near the plants?

Our virologist agrees that phytoplasma or herbicide are possible explanations. You can send a sample into him for testing to see if it is phytoplasma or not:

Bob Martin

Research Plant Pathologist (Virology)

USDA-ARS Horticulture Crops Research Unit

3420 NW Orchard Ave.

Corvallis, OR 97330

Phone 541-738-4041

Cell 541-760-1023

FAX 541-738-4025


And this is from our horticulturist, Bernadine Strik:

"I’ve seen this before. Mutation occurs within the bud. No sure of cause (physiological). When canes are cut back this winter, one hopes won’t be a problem next year."