Armillaria root rot (<i>Armillaria heimii</i>)
The fungus is confined to the soil and is normally a saprophyte living on dead stumps and roots of forest trees. However, if the root surface of the tea bush is damaged by cultivation or boring insects, the fungus can enter the roots and become parasitic. Leaves of affected bushes turn yellow and fall and sheets of white mycelium (fungal growth) can be found between the bark and the wood. The main root system rots away and the tea bush eventually dies.
- During land preparation stumps, pieces of wood and roots of forest trees must be removed from the soil.
- If Armillaria occurs in established tea, diseased trees must be thoroughly removed so that they do not become a source of infection for the neighbouring bushes.