University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Fungal Disease

Kabatina Blight
Kabatina juniperi

Phomopsis and kabatina blight of juniper.
Phomopsis and kabatina blight of juniper.
2 (1 = rare 5 = annual)
3 (1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)
Juniperus spp.

Plants Affected
Symptoms are similar to Phomopsis Blight in that needles and shoot turn brown and die from canker out to branch tip. It takes microscopic inspection to separate the spores of Kabatina from Phomopsis. However, the two diseases can be easily separated by where on the plant the canker is located. If the canker is on the new season's growth it is Phomopsis. If it is on last year's growth (one year old) then it is Kabatina.

Life Cycle
This fungal canker kills juniper tissue that is at least one year old. This fungus seems to be unable to attack through healthy tissue. Instead, it is believed to enter various types of wounds (e.g., due to insects, mechanical or weather related). Winter injury and insect activity are common sources of wounding. Fruiting structures of Kabatina will be evident in the spring on one-year-old twigs infected the previous season.

Control is to keep plants healthy and avoid injury as much as possible. Prune out all dead and dying stems/twigs. Promote air circulation and quicker foliar drying by proper plant spacing, pruning of surrounding plant material, and watering early in the day. Resistant varieties remain the most effective control. Kabatina blight is difficult to control with fungicides.

Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic