Clemson researchers work to prevent root rot in peach trees

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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson University has received a grant for research aimed at preventing a fungus that eats the roots of peach trees.

The university announced this month the $150,000 grant from Wells Fargo will allow researchers to find a better way to deal with the problem of what is commonly called oak root rot.

Scientists have studied the fungus for about a century but biological and chemical treatments don't work very well.

One Clemson researcher has developed a technique of planting peach trees in shallow berms with part of their roots exposed. That helps because the fungus can't live in extreme temperatures.

Statistics show that last year peaches brought in about $70 million in the state. South Carolina is second only to California in peach production.

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