Pestalotiopsis Tip Blight and Dieback of Conifers

by Paige Thrush, Nancy J. Taylor  & Francesca Peduto Hand

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Pestalotiopsis is a very common pathogen found on many trees and shrubs in North America. Pestalotiopsis funerea, is responsible for tip blight, dieback and stem canker of conifers, most often associated with previously stressed plants. Susceptible hosts of P. funerea include arborvitae, juniper, cypress, false cypress, true cedar, Japanese cedar, incense cedar, pine, spruce, hemlock, yew, redwood, and Douglas fir. Thuja occidentalis, the Eastern/American arborvitae or the Northern/Eastern white cedar is widely planted in landscapes and is very susceptible to Pestalotiopsis. Although the pathogen rarely kills its host, it greatly reduces the vigor and aesthetic quality of affected plants.