by Taetske | 4:54 pm
(Last Updated On: July 14, 2021)


Xylella Fastidiosa. It seems this bacterium is unstoppable


A Spanish olive grove

A Spanish olive grove image Simon Lehmann


The discovery of this plague

Mr. Newton B. Pierce, who lived from 1856 to 1916, was California’s first professional plant pathologist. He discovered this pathogenic bacterium that attacks the grapes. It was seen the first time near Anaheim in California and up till today no cure has been found.

There exist many subspecies of Xylella Fastidiosa and it can affect many hosts. In Europe, 359 different species of plants have been shown to be susceptible to this bacterium.
These include grapes, citrus, olive, lavender, peach, oak, rosemary, and much more. Often the host plant does not show any symptoms but is a reservoir for infection.


If you want to know more about the olive tree, this is your book

Mort Rosenblum, the author of this book, bought a small farm in La Provence, France. There was an olive grove with 150 neglected trees. He was told that these trees were already old when the Sun King ruled France.

This famous king ruled from 1643 till his death in 1715. An olive tree can be well over a thousand years old. Imagine all this tree has seen during this long period.



I live in the south of Spain. I read about this first time recently in a Spanish newspaper and I honestly think this is more than unsettling news. Can you imagine a world without trees and plants? Like a desert landscape with no greenery whatsoever. Fauna cannot exist without its supportive Flora, and the same is valid the other way around.

When in California it has been present for some 100 years and still no solution was found for this plague, it was only a question of time till it would reach Europe. It was first detected in Italy in 2013 in the region of Puglia.

The farmers were putting up a fight, not wanting to lose their century-old olive trees, and the authorities acted late. The total cost was on 30.000 hectares, where 1.5 million trees were lost in the end.


young almond tree in front of my house

Young Almond tree in front of my house


This plague has come to Spain

This bacterium attacks olive trees as well as almonds, cherry, fig-trees as also grapes and people in Spain were waiting for when it would reach here. In October 2016 it was detected in the Balearic Islands. 3 Young cherry trees from a nursery in Mallorca showed the first signs, then it moved on to the almond trees. This will greatly reduce the almond harvest within a few years, probably by 50%.

This is a pretty short video on Mallorca. It gives you a glimpse of this beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. Just imagine this island would be converted to barren rock.



The drought suffered on the islands and also the abandoning of big farmland has made it easier for this bacterium to expand itself. On Mallorca, there are 156 plants, 68 in Ibiza, 28 on Menorca, which are host to this plague.

To pull out the almond and olive trees and destroy them does not only have an economic impact, but it will also affect tourism and the island people as such as their landscape which has been known for centuries will disappear.

If they were to follow the urgent recommendation of the European Union, these islands would become barren. It is not only the affected tree one has to destroy, but everything growing in a 100m radius surrounding this tree as well. Mallorca has some experience with something similar. 100 years ago the 40.000 hectares of vineyards were reduced to only 2.500 due to Filoxera.


adelfa flowers

Adelfa flowers


Also in other countries in Europe, the Xylella Fastidiosa has been detected. In July 2015 it arrived on Corcega, 340 cases up till now. Also in the Provence, there are already 20 cases. In Germany has been 1 case registered up to this date.

It was in a flowerpot with an Adelfa also called Oleander. Along the highways in Europe and especially in the south, you will often see this plant with its pretty white, pink, and danker blossoms.


Barren field

Barren field image Free-Photos


Thousands of years of olive culture

In Spain exist 900 different varieties of olives. All are kept in the bank of the Germoplasma Institute of Agriculture formation. Like this, the thousands of years of olive culture are safeguarded. 25.000 square km and thousands of jobs are in jeopardize. Hopefully, soon a solution can be found as there is the risk of Europe and especially the south becoming like a Sahara.

Here is an easy method for how to cure olives. Have a look at this YouTube video.



An afterthought

I wrote this post in August 2017, and many things have happened during these years. 2020 we woke up to the fragility of the worldwide economy as because of the lockdown everything came to a standstill. It is understandable that because of what we are experiencing, The focus is on our health and how our life will be in the future.

I have checked on the latest news. This plague is still spreading and no cure has been found yet. Mother nature needs our help. Here you can read different articles from 2019. 

I have made a special page for you. It holds a collection of things I find useful and interesting. Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations.


Source: Sur Newspaper

Photo Source: Pixabay and Private


Did you know that the Amazon Rainforest is one of the most important lungs of the world? Sadly every year big pieces go missing be it through woodcutting or huge fires. Perhaps you would also like to read the following post.

Our Dependence on the Lungs of the World


Vic Lees

Hello Taetske
Wow What an article. Why is this not popular knowledge especially with dwindling world food supplies. I can’t believe I have never heard of this plague before now. Is it really as bad as it seems? Do we not have any defense against this bacterium in our agricultural sprays? Thank you for a very informative article-it sure opened my eyes to this problem!

Sep 24.2017 | 08:16 pm


    Good evening Vic,

    Yes, it is an awful situation and up till now no other solution has been found but to destroy anything growing in a radius of 100m. I am worried as in our world we have already so many serious problems. If a solution is found and hopefully soon, let it not be one where some stupid pesticide will be used.

    Regards, Taetske

    Sep 24.2017 | 08:43 pm


Wow this is very unsettling and I’m curious as why there aren’t more news reports on it. It’s disturbing to me the extent of the virus and how far reaching it is. I had always thought the Ebola virus was localized to humans only. Do you know if this Ebola virus was man made or the origin of it? How does it spread exactly? Can humans get it from plants and vice versa? Are there preventative measures people can do to stop the spread?

Sep 24.2017 | 08:18 pm


    Good evening Catherine,

    I am sorry that  my post made you think this bacterium can attack humans, that is not the case. Still, when nature disappears I do not know what will happen to us to tell you the truth as it will cause a tremendous disbalance in our world.

    Regards, Taetske

    Sep 24.2017 | 08:36 pm

Jack Taylor

What a terrible situation for people that already have so much to overcome. It’s sad that the news media doesn’t report this, instead they report lies and propaganda.

Who cares about what the Kardashians had for breakfast! Anyways, great article. Let’s all hope for a solution to this tragedy as soon as possible.

Thanks for informing us on the situation.


Oct 12.2017 | 06:42 pm


    Good evening Jack,

    Thank you for visiting my website. The situation is more than serious. as no other solution has been found but to eliminate everything in a 100meter radius.
    Just now there are those terrible fires in California in Napa valley close by to where this was discovered some 100 years ago.
    You are right it is of no importance what the Kardashians had for breakfast but sadly thousands of people think it it is.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 12.2017 | 07:04 pm


Such a moving post.
Recently I was looking into buying a plot of land in the Zaragoza area of Spain, you know growing some olives and almonds after I fell in love with farming in Australia. After extensive research I came across this worrying virus. As jack Taylor said, who really cares what the Kim and Kanye had for breakfast.
Humanity is loosing sight of what’s important in the world these days….such a shame.

Oct 15.2017 | 01:57 pm


    Good afternoon Anthony,

    It is indeed worrying to see the public being more interested in what the “famous” are doing instead of taking care of the place we live. Up till now we only have this planet and we should, all together, take good care of Mother Earth. The Ebola of the Olive Tree is a very bad thing as no real cure has been found yet. In California, because of this huge catastrophe with the fires in many places the grapevines were lost, the same place where it all started 100 years ago. Sorry to hear you are put off in getting a plot of land in Spain. All southern countries are facing the same problem and to tell you the truth I am also worried what might happen on my farm in the south of Spain.
    Thank you for visiting my website, I hope to see you again,

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 15.2017 | 03:25 pm


Hi Taetske,This is really interesting. I wonder if there are ongoing researches to stop the spread of this virus.Something has to be done to stop the spread, otherwise the affected places will become barren and will lead to flooding.I’m also intrigued if it will also affect people and animals  ( not only plants ) once they get to a certain place.Thanks for this eye-opening article.Marita

Mar 14.2019 | 09:35 pm


    Good Morning Marita,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    As far as I know, it does not affect humans or animals but it will have an effect when so many plants/trees disappear. It is very sad there is no cure yet. It is closely observed to where this plaque is spreading. I will send you a link.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 15.2019 | 10:03 am


I have never heard of this plague before. This is particularly concerning because it infects food tress as well. With the on going crises when it comes to food, this matter has to be urgently addressed. What step are being taken to completely eradicate this plague? Thank you for this informative article.

Mar 14.2019 | 09:35 pm


    Good Morning Ron,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I will send you a link so you can see this plaque is being closely observed. I have not heard of any cure yet.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 15.2019 | 10:07 am


This is terrible. I just saw a youtube video about the south of italy’s olive trees being decimated. There is no cure in sight you say?

It’s amazing how these virus’s can spread worldwide without much detection. And it’s awful how much of an area has to be eradicated to get rid of it!

Hopefully science will come up with something soon. I would hate to lose my olives and grapes!

Mar 14.2019 | 09:39 pm


    Good Morning Denis,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    I would also be very sad if I would lose my grapes, oleander and more plants and trees. As far as I know, there is no cure yet. It is being closely watched. I am sending you a link.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 15.2019 | 10:11 am

fintan duggan

My God it is unbelievable that this Xyella Fastidiosa can attack and destroy grapes as well as almond, cherry and fig trees. The effects on the local economy would be devastating especially for small farmers I notice that not only Spain is affected but Germany as well admittedly to a lesser degree. The EU want to destroy everything within a 100 mile radius of this plague this should be stopped as it will cause even more devastation  what about crops where are they going to grow? I really hope the authorities find a solution asap.

Mar 14.2019 | 09:46 pm


    Good Morning Fintan,

    Thank you for the comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I think there is a misunderstanding. I said when a tree has been detected with this plaque everything has to be destroyed in a 100m = meter radius. So it is not 100 mile. Still, it is bad enough. 

    I am sending you a link where you can read the latest news.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 15.2019 | 10:18 am


Hi Taetske,

It seems everyday now, we are hearing more and more destructive forces at work against our planet, and yet nothing is done to stop the planet from dying. This is going to have severe ecological as well as economic consequences. All the money is concentrated at the top 1% and they have the resources to fund such research.

But, the problem is it will not make more money for them immediately. The shortsightedness overlooks the destruction of their own lively hood and even existence on this planet! Some of the plants and trees being killed are original heirloom strains that cannot be replaced unless someone has carefully stored the original seeds somewhere. 

I have never heard of this Xylella Fastidosia. But, that is likely because nobody sees a way to make a profit without expensive research. let’s hope that some of the billionaires, like Bill Gates, will become interested in this devastating problem!.

Thank you for educating me on this problem!


Mar 14.2019 | 09:55 pm


    Good Morning Chas,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I started with my 2 websites 2 years ago. This gives me the opportunity to write about my interests and the things which worry me. Having these websites I investigate more than I would normally do. I have become more aware of things which happen in our world. It does not look good at all. The fact that we harm the environment in multiple ways, be it through ignorance or greed, is something very worrying. After all, the environment is our habitat but we destroy it.

    On my other website, I have written quite a few posts on the different radiations we seem to have to live with. My last 2 posts on Motherearthstreasures have been on the danger of 5G. The whole thing is so absurd, gigantic, and awful that it does not enter my head this is happening. Sadly it is happening so I do my best to spread the black news. I firmly believe that only a Global Protest will save our necks.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 15.2019 | 10:36 am

Hollie Rose

Fascinating article. I have never heard of Xylella Fastidiosa but it sounds pretty terrible. I can’t believe people aren’t making a bigger scene out of this. It can be really catastrophic for the world and it needs some serious action in my opinion. Do you know if there have been any cases in the UK? 

Mar 14.2019 | 10:05 pm


    Good Morning Hollie,

    Thank you for your visit and comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    As far as I know, there have been no cases yet in the UK. There is concern however it might get there one day. Just as it happened in Germany with an imported and affected plant. Let us hope it does not happen.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 15.2019 | 10:22 am


 I was not aware that such a plague existed. No, I can not imagine a world without trees. That would be a detriment for all life. With that being said, this is really an issue to be dealt with. Have any measures been put in place? Has the government provided help?

Thank you for sharing this information.

Sep 08.2020 | 02:16 pm


    Good Morning Toni-Ann,

    Sadly, there is no cure yet. One has to chop down the affected tree and all the other trees standing close by. The wood needs to be burned and then one hopes for the best. I can imagine there will be farmers who are reluctant in taking their grove down. That is all you can do. If a farmer is left without trees and wants to plant new ones, I suppose there will be help from the authorities. It will take some years for that tree to bear fruit. All in all, a sad story.

    Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske


    Sep 09.2020 | 06:34 am

Anthony Beatrice

Hopefully, this bacterium does not wipe out the olive trees.  I love olives, and I love olive oil.  Also, since this bacterium affects several types of trees/plants, could have ecological implications.  This is not good.

I  didn’t realize this olive trees lived so long.  A thousand years, that is impressive.  Wow, you have to keep healthy trees a long way from the tree.  I didn’t realize this would affect tourism; even that is impacted.  There’s no cure for it either, that is discouraging.

Sep 08.2020 | 02:20 pm


    Good Morning Anthony,

    Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Sadly no cure has been found yet for this plague even if it has existed for more than 100 years. Imagine when from the beautiful island of Mallorca all the trees would disappear. People would not come to visit a barren island. I live here in the south of Spain on my small green farm. I am surrounded by big trees and bushes. How it would look if all is gone goes beyond my imagination.

    Regards, Taetske

    Sep 09.2020 | 06:24 am


Monoculture might be the cause? It’s great there are groups of people that look into organic agriculture and permaculture. More diversification with plants next to each other that enforce each other and keeps disease at bay.
The region where I live has mainly dead soil. The earth is completely empty due to the overuse of pesticides and herbicides. So we have joined a network that propagates organic farming. Let’s hope that helps.

Oct 03.2020 | 10:45 am


    Good Morning Hannie,

    This plague was discovered 100 years ago. At that time mono culture and especially pesticides and herbicides were not practiced and or used like it is now a days.

    In old times you would rotate the crops and after 7 years the land could rest and recuperate. This we do on a small scale in the vegetable garden. There is a pink pot with a lid we use to keep the bio waste from the kitchen. Once a week Michael digs it in the vegetable garden. Sometimes you are in for a surprise as tomato, avocado, and potato plants suddenly pop up.
    Everything one does organic helps the planet but I am not sure it will stop this plague.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 04.2020 | 07:00 am

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