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University of Illinois Extension

Dogwood Anthracnose

Discula sp. 


(1 = rare 5 = annual)  


(1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)  


Cornus florida) and the Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa). The fungus is killing tree-type dogwoods in the wild. In the landscape, the disease can be kept in check with fungicides.    


Discula sp. causes stem & branch cankers that girdle trunks & branches resulting in dead trees.

Spot anthracnose (Elsinoe corni) [see anthracnose diseases under deciduous trees and shrubs or fungal diseases] and Septoria; both of which affect dogwood and are mainly cosmetic.  

Life Cycle

"flower" (white bracts).  


To help reduce infection and increase the plant's resistance, keep plants healthy. Plant the trees in the right location. Then follow good cultural practices during planting, maintenance and pruning of these trees. Effective fungicidal control must be started before there is any major dieback. Prune out and destroy infected branches. Removing and destroying infected leaves may have a limited benefit. Removing the water sprouts helps to reduce trunk cankers. Use recommended fungicides according to directions.

Filed under plants: Deciduous Trees & Shrubs

Filed under problems: Fungal Disease

More information is available on Hort Answers.