University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Fungal Disease

Pine Cankers and Dieback
Botryosphaeria dothidea

"Bleeding" cytospora canker on spruce.
"Bleeding" cytospora canker on spruce.
3 (1 = rare 5 = annual)
3 (1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)
Pines and other trees (gymnosperms and angiosperms)


Several cankers cause the tree to bleed heavily, but others listed cause little if any sap to occur on the outer bark. All cause internal discoloration.

Life Cycle
Botryosphaeria dothidea, (Nectria cinnabarina & Phomopsis juniperovora found only on Jack pine), Sphaeropsis sapineas, Leucostoma spp., Valsa spp. (Cytospora spp. conidal form of Valsa), & Scleroderris (Ascocalyx) are diseases of stressed trees. Rainy wet weather helps in the spread of the diseases.


Keep the plant growing well and minimize long-term stress factors on the pines. Prune out dead and dying limbs, water properly during droughts and feed in the fall when most deciduous trees are defoliating.

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