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Phomopsis dieback of cypresses

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Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News 54, July 1996.

Although cypress canker - caused by Seiridium cardinale and S. unicorne - is the most destructive disease of plantation cypresses in this country, we also see dieback, especially of young plants and nursery seedlings caused by species of Phomopsis . Symptoms are typically tip blight, followed by dieback of shoots and small diameter branches. Small black fruiting bodies, which are just visible to the naked eye form all over the dead tissue. Phomopsis juniperovora is particularly damaging to junipers but other New Zealand grown cypresses which show a degree of susceptibility include Cupressus macrocarpa, C. lusitanica and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. Infection can occur at any time of the year when succulent young tissue is available and environmental conditions are suitable for infection. Other species of Phomopsis may also infect cypresses but are generally wound parasites, aggravating damage which has been initiated by abiotic agencies.

(Margaret Dick, FRI)

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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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