Project Description


Diplodia Tip Blight

Diplodia tip blight, also called Sphaeropsis blight, can be a destructive and devastating disease of certain pines. Trees of all ages are susceptible, although older trees frequently sustain greater damage and disfigurement. Diplodia tip blight is caused by the fungus Sphaeropsis sapinea. This fungus usually attacks only mature trees, although it is more damaging to trees that have been under stress from drought, excessive soil moisture, root restriction, other site problems or stresses. Symptoms often first appear on current-season needles since the fungus rapidly kills infected young, succulent shoots before the needles are fully elongated. Infected shoots turn yellow, gradually brown, and fruiting structures of the fungus are visible as small, black structures with conical beaks at the base of the infected needles. A diagnostic feature of Diplodia tip blight is the presence of stunted, straw-colored shoots with short needles and resin flow. Fungicide treatments can help if cultural problems are corrected.