When they fall, you may notice light patches of resin on the dead bark of the branches. Because this canker disease usually occurs on a weakened host, the primary method of control is to prevent stress on the tree. One of the first symptoms of cytospora canker disease on spruce is the browning of needles on the tree’s lower limbs. The fungus quickly grows throughout the dead branch, but rarely grows into the tree trunk. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. A thick layer of hard, dry, bluish-white resin will coat the area of the branch over the canker. © Use bleach to disinfect the pruners before and after each use. Cytospora canker is a common disease on spruce trees that are stressed by drought, winter injury or other factors. The term " canker" is used to describe a killed area or blister on the bark, a branch or the trunk of an infected tree.The Morton Arboretum describes it as a canker that is "usually oval to elongate, but can vary in size and shape." Cankers are located close to the trunk of the tree on dead or dying branches. Cankers will often appear as a swelling surrounding a sunken lesion on the bark of trunks and branches. Dark, raised, pimple-like, spore-producing structures form on infected branches. The disease is common on large mature trees. To help a tree resist infection, prepare soil before planting, fertilize, water properly for winter and summer, prune, and avoid injury to the trunk and limbs. These trees are often removed and replaced. Cytospora canker of spruce trees results in browning of needles during the spring and summer as well as discoloration of bark that becomes an orange, brown or black hue in localized areas. Needles turn a dull yellowish-green then purple-brown. Prevention is easier than cytospora canker treatment. On dying branches, needles turn brown or purplish-brown, then fall off. Plant Norway or white spruce instead of Colorado blue spruce. The types of damage that leave the tree susceptible to infection include pruning wounds, flying debris from lawn mowers, string trimmer injuries, frost, fire and cat scratches. 2020 Prune out any infected branches and burn them, since the fungus overwinters in cankered bark. Cytospora canker rarely kills spruce trees, but it can severely deform them. A sunken canker forms on branches and is often coated in a thick layer of resin. Cytospora canker disease generally attacks spruces, especially Colorado blue and Norway varieties, as well as peach trees, Douglas firs or hemlock trees. Over several years, symptoms of cytospora canker spread and upper branches brown and die. Cytospora canker is most common on Colorado blue spruce, but can affect all spruce trees grown in Minnesota. This will help to keep the trunk dry and increase air circulation around the plum tree. You may look to fungicidal sprays as a cytospora canker treatment, but these are not effective and are not recommended by experts. Managing Cytospora canker involves total orchard management. Any management practice that reduces stress on trees will help them resist this disease. Take care not to wound trees susceptible to this disease. Cankers or lesions of dying plant tissue form on bark as well, creating areas that sink into the tree's surface while excreting a white ooze. This is caused by the cytospora cankers fungus. It attacks older trees, stressed trees and those with shallow roots or planted in inappropriate sites. The best time for pruning is late winter or early spring in dry, sunny weather. Cytospora canker is caused by the fungus Leucostoma kunzei. It may take two consecutive seasons of pruning to significantly reduce the disease. Crowded trees are more likely to get and pass along the fungus. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. If you do plant blue spruce, allow adequate spacing between trees in new plantings. Home; Arborist Advice; Cytospora Canker of Spruce particularly attacks blue spruce, in addition to Norway spruce, hemlock, red cedar, fir and white pine trees. Michelle Grabowski, Extension educator and Cynthia Ash Kanner. For established trees, judiciously prune branches to open the trees’ canopies. Since no stone fruit tree is immune, and fungicide treatments alone are not effective, control efforts must be aimed at reducing tree injuries where infection could begin. What is cytospora canker? P… Symptoms. Don't remove cankers during wet, rainy weather. Since no stone fruit tree is immune and fungicide treatments alone are not effective, control efforts must be aimed at reducing tree injuries where infection could begin. Fertilizing may also stimulate new growth that may fill in small vacant … Water them during dry periods and fertilize them annually to provide nutrients. To help avoid re-infection or spreading the infection, remove the grass and weeds from around the bottom of the plum trees. This is a fatal disease. Warnings. Check spruce trees once a year for cankers. Pruning during the growing season allows you to better identify branches with cankers. Once girdled, the branch dies and the needles turn brown and fall off. 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Plant spruce trees on sites with moist, well-drained soil in full sun. This resin is often dried in the form of drips and bumps. To ensure that all the disease is removed, cut several inches to one foot below any canker symptoms into healthy wood. Cytospora rarely kills spruce trees, but can badly deform them and damage the look of the tree. Instead, try using organic methods for control of cytospora canker. Planning a new orchard. High temperatures seem to be related to Cytospora canker on our local alders. Signs and Symptoms of Tree Cankers . Dead or dying branches are scattered throughout the tree. University of Minnesota Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education, and engages Minnesotans to build a better future. Select a site well away from old Cytospora-infected trees. Now is a good time to prune out … Take every precaution to keep the trees healthy and strong. Plant yours with lots of room and good air circulation. The fungus enters the tree through damaged bark. The tree trunk can be infected through wounds. It may take several years for the canker to girdle the branch. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Cytospora. Canker diseases can easily kill branches or cause enough structural damage for branches to break free in severe weather. How to manage Cytospora canker in spruce trees Plant spruce trees on sites with moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Drought and oxygen starvation of roots by flooding soil with water are the two most common stresses that predispose trees to Cytospora infection. You may look to fungicidal sprays as a cytospora canker treatment, but these are not effective and are not recommended by experts.