Cypress canker

Cypress canker
Seiridium canker 100814w.JPG
Asexual fructifications of cypress canker disease
Causal agentsSeiridium spp.
HostsCypress trees
DistributionEurope, North America, Australia, New Zealand

Cypress canker is a disease affecting Cupressus species, caused by one of several species of fungus in the genus Seiridium. Infection causes die-back of twigs and branches in susceptible cypress trees,[1] with rapidly increasing amounts of damage and the death of the tree.

History

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.[2]

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