What damage is enough to rub a virus into a leaf

I handled a possible plant with a virus then later touch the leaves of another tree is this enough to transmit a virus. How about if I touched my hair then hair rubbed against leaf? I am talking about the stone fruit species.

Very unlikely. Even where mechanical transmission of a virus is possible, you’d likely need to introduce tissue or sap from an infected tree to wounds on an uninfected tree—for instance, with dirty pruning shears. Just brushing against or gently handling the plants is unlikely to directly transmit a virus. A viruliferous vector (e.g., a mite or aphid that has fed on an infected plant and become an infectious carrier—or, with certain viruses, even a pollinator carrying infected pollen) could possibly hitch a ride on you from an infected to an uninfected plant—but if the plants aren’t that distant, these critters are probably getting around just fine without your help. Anyway, why do you think the plant in question has a virus?

Don’t worry so much.

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thanks for the response, what if I had sap on my hand but then it dried, can a virus be alive still on my hands?

The plant that looked weird looked like this. I did research before looked similar to PDV

The way it works is that if there is a .01 percent chance of it happening, there is a solid 50% chance it will happen when you do it.

Ok, maybe it doesn’t work that way (although it feels that way) but what you do when dealing with disease is not to do the minimum it takes, but to build a safety margin to account for human error and Murphy’s law. Most of what you do may not be 100% necessary but it improves your odds.


No expert—and hopefully somebody who knows more will chime in—but most of the Prune Dwarf Virus pics I’ve seen show ringspots and other characteristic viral discolorations. Don’t see any of that here. This looks cultural or insect-related to me. I’d just watch it—and not lose any sleep over it.

EDIT: And wash your hands after handling it and sanitize any pruners you use on it. You know, for that margin of safety—and peace of mind. :slightly_smiling_face:

PDV, btw, is believed to be mostly spread by pollen—and grafting.

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What is the best way to sanitize pruners? Thanks!

I keep a little spray bottle of rubbing alcohol next to where I store my pruners so I can spray them between each use. A side benefit is that it keeps sticky sap from building up on the blade too.


I do usually wash things but just wanted to make sure that dried sap doesn’t have active virus on hands, aside from TMV as that is a very stable virus

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Is a mesh net rubbing against a leaf considered abrasion to the leaf cells?

I may just send it to a lab to be certain, there was a pic on the web which showed the bumps on the leaf and skinny structure of the leaf.

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If brushing against a plant was enough to spread a virus it would be unstoppable in its spread and there would be no use of worrying anyways.


Fortunately, not many plant viruses are as astoundingly stable and infectious as Tobacco Mosaic—which, under certain conditions, can even be transmitted to susceptible plants via the handling of infected cigarettes(!). If it will make you feel better, sending samples to a lab is probably good idea. If you do, please let us know the results.

@Nan I also use isopropyl alcohol on my pruners—91% if I can get it. Sometimes, if I’m dealing with something nasty—like removing fire blight strikes—, I’ll prewipe with something like a Clorox wipe before spraying down with alcohol. And I always oil them after I’m finished—usually with Ballistol.


I’ll find out how much it costs, it probably going to be over 50 as just a regular examination of things like fungus costs 50

Lysol is the same as Clorox right?

I use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. I used a (Chlorox) bleach spray once and it corroded my expensive stainless steel pruners.
Lysol and bleach are not the same.


So something like Lysol won’t do as great in killing viruses as bleach

One of the plant breeders for my state uses Lysol and recommends it.

I have also dipped my pruners into a bucket of 20% Clorox and water.

Washed well and oiled afterwards and only say a little corrosion.

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