The first epidemic of cypress canker was recorded in California in 1928, with Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) being affected. Within a few years the local populations of this tree had been killed. The species is widely traded as an ornamental tree and the disease had soon spread worldwide, probably with nursery stock. Within five decades the disease had reached New Zealand, France, Chile, Italy, Argentina, Greece, most of Europe, Canada, North Africa, South Africa and Australia. The causal agent of this pandemic spread was the pathogenic fungus
Seiridium cardinale, with Seiridium cupressi and Seiridium unicorne sometimes being involved, but being less aggressive; other pathogenic fungi can also cause cankers in cypresses.