One fungal tree disease that can be difficult to diagnose is known as Botryodiplodia Canker (Botryodiplodia theobromae). It is often considered a weak parasite with a wide tree host range. In Texas, including in Cleveland, TX, it is well known to cause a rapid death of sycamore trees.
This fungal infection can cause "cankers" on a tree's branches and main trunk. High temperatures and stressful drought conditions create an ideal environment for Botryodiplodia Canker to thrive.
Trees weakened by the Cephalosporium wilt fungal disease become more vulnerable to this disease. Broken-off twigs are the ideal spots for this fungus to attack your tree.
What Does Botryodiplodia Canker Look Like?
One of the most easy-to-recognize symptoms of this fungal infection is when you start to see tree branches dying in a specific area. Leaves on infected branches become stunted in their growth and discolored (i.e., yellowish/brownish), and may even appear shriveled.
When the infection continues to progress from upper branches to lower ones (smaller to larger). At this point, branches will show cankers (lesions/sickly patches) in the bark's tissue.
These cankers typically mean that the underlying wood is dead. The cankers are known to be longer and elliptical, most often manifest as branch stubs, and you'll likely see ridges around the edges of the cankers. These ridges likely mean the cankers are older. Newer, more active cankers are harder to detect, and you won't find them with ridges. Callus ridges are usually indicative of older, inactive cankers.
How Do You Treat Botryodiplodia Canker?
What can you do to start managing and controlling Botryodiplodia Canker once you spot it.
You can start by pruning dead and dying branches below areas that show cankering. Do not forget to sterilize your pruning tools with water/bleach solution between uses. Spraying for anthracnose with a reliable fungicide will also help to control Botryodiplodia Canker.
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