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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Forsythia > Dead branch or branch dieback

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Forsythia > Stems/branches > Dead branches or branch dieback

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Winter injury

  • Tip dieback is common
  • Depending on severity of winter, stems dieback to crown or at least to snowline
  • May produce leaves and even flower buds, but dieback in June
  • More information on Winter injury
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Botryosphaeria Canker
Botryosphaeria dothidea

  • Leaves on one or more branches wilt, turn brown and die
  • Bark on infected branches is darker, cracked, or blistered at the site of the canker
  • Wood beneath the canker is dark brown
  • Common on shrubs stressed by drought, winter injury and other factors
  • More information on Botryosphaeria Canker
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Oystershell scale
Lepidosaphes ulmi

  • Light to moderate infestations show little or no symptoms
  • Severe infestations can cause chlorotic, stunted foliage
  • Dieback and cracked bark can result from heavy infestations
  • Light to dark brown, elongated, 1/10 to 1/8 inch long oyster-shell shaped scales found on bark
  • More information on Oystershell Scale
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Phomopsis Gall
Phomopsis spp.

  • Galls are round woody balls made up of many short woody nodules clustered together
  • Galls may occur individually or be clustered on twigs and branches
  • Galls are 1/4 to 2 inches across
  • Galls may girdle and kill small twigs and branches
  • Infected shrubs may show stunted growth and loss of vigor
  • More information on Phomopsis Gall
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Twig blight
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

  • Leaves and twigs on one or more branches die suddenly
  • Common on branches found near the ground
  • White, fuzzy fungal growth may be seen on infected branches
  • Hard black bodies (sclerotia) are found on the inside of infected twigs when split open
  • Most common in nursery settings under cool, wet conditions
  • More information on Twig blight

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