Botryosphaeria canker

Cause

Botryosphaeria cankerBotryosphaeria dothidea (fungus)

Hosts

Many woody plants, including redbud, rhododendron, crabapples and dogwoods.

Symptoms

This fungus causes cankers and branch dieback. Cankers, which may take a year or more to develop, are visible as sunken, brown-to-black areas on infected branches (top right photo). As branches are girdled by the canker’s spread, leaves wilt and die but remain attached to the branch (bottom right photo). Small, pimple-like fruiting bodies (pycnidia) may be visible in the area of the canker.

How it’s spread

Drought-stressed plants are much more susceptible to this disease. This fungus frequently enters and infects through wounds.

Management

Keep plants well-watered during droughts. Affected branches may be pruned out. Many fungal cankers look similar; confirm your field diagnosis by sending a sample to MSU Diagnostic Services.

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Botryosphaeria canker

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.