Pitch Canker

Pest: Pitch Canker (Fusarium circinatum)

Pest Type: Infectious disease, fungus

Major Identifying Features: The fungus causes lesions that can encircle branches, exposed roots, and trunks of pine trees, tips of the branches wilt as a result of water flow obstruction, causing needles to turn yellow and then brown, this leads to dieback of branches, raisin accumulates on infected branches

Life Cycle: The fungus does not move within the tree, each canker lesion is separate infection

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Difficult

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Most pines native to California are susceptible to pitch canker, but Monterey pine is the most widely affected host, insects can transmit the pitch canker fungus during feeding on trees

Damage Information: Can cause cankers on pine trees and even kill trees

Management Options: Trees may recover completely, prevention of the movement of pathogens, mechanical control by removing infected branches




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