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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Hackberry > Dead branches in canopy

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Hackberry > Branches/Trunk > Dead branches in canopy

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  • Image: Deicing salt injury 1
  • Image: Deicing salt injury 2

Deicing salt injury

  • Run-off salt kills roots which results in die-back of most branches
  • Affected trees leaf out later than other non-infected trees
  • Soil salt damage causes leaf edges or margins to appear burnt or scorched progressing toward the mid-vein
  • Salt spray causes branch growth to become tuft-like (a.k.a. witches' broom)
  • Damage most noticeable in spring and into the summer growing season
  • More information on Deicing salts
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  • Image: Twig girdler 1
  • Image: Twig girdler 2

Twig girdler
Oncideres cingulata

  • Dead twigs may be scattered in canopy
  • Chews around the outside of the twig, almost chewing through it
  • Twigs can break off in wind and end up scattered on ground
  • Damage seen in August and September
  • Adult is about 9/16 inch long, grayish brown with scattered yellow spots, with antenna as long as its body
  • More information on Twig girdler
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  • Image: Branch cankers 1
  • Image: Branch cankers 2
  • Image: Branch cankers 3

Branch cankers
Botryosphaeria stevensii or Botryosphaeria spp.

  • Scattered dead branches seen throughout canopy
  • Leaves on random branches wilt, turn yellow then brown during the growing season
  • Infected branches don't leaf out in spring
  • Cankers are brown to black sunken areas on branch that may have cracked bark and discolored sapwood
  • Common on trees stressed by drought, winter injury, wounds, insect feeding or other factors
  • More information on canker
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  • Image: Sapwood rot 1
  • Image: Sapwood rot 2
  • Image: Sapwood rot 3

Sapwood rot
Cerrena unicolor

  • Dead branches within the canopy
  • Groups or rows of small (< 2 inches wide) semi-circle self fungi along killed branches or on the main trunk
  • Shelf fungi are white to greenish grey and have concentric rings on the surface
  • Common on trees with an open wound or crack
  • Wood below fungal shelves is yellowish to white, crumbly and decayed; bark around fungal shelves is killed and often falls off
  • More information on Heart rot
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  • Image: Ganoderma root and butt rot 1
  • Image: Ganoderma root and butt rot 2
  • Image: Ganoderma root and butt rot 3

Ganoderma root and butt rot
Ganoderma spp.

  • Canopy appears thin with few leaves and multiple dead branches
  • Leaves are smaller in size and turn yellow earlier than normal
  • Fungal conks, a semicircle shelf fungi, can be found from the base of the tree up to 3 feet high on the trunk
  • Conks are reddish brown and shiny on top, white and porous underneath; a rim of white may be visible on the edge of
    growing conks
  • Infected wood at the tree base is white, soft, stringy or spongy
  • Infected trees frequently break or fall over in storms
  • More information on Ganoderma root and butt rot
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  • Image: Coral spot canker 1
  • Image: Coral spot canker 2
  • Image: Coral spot canker 3

Coral spot canker
Nectria cinnabarina

  • Dead branches and twigs, often first observed in early spring when no leaves form
  • Or, wilting soon after leaves emerge in spring
  • Sunken dark brown area on branch that is often cracked or has a ridge at the edge
  • Raised cushion-like bumps on affected branches, may be cream to orange or red, turn black with age
  • Common on trees stressed by drought, recent transplant or
    other factors
  • More information on canker
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  • Image: Armillaria root rot 1
  • Image: Armillaria root rot 2
  • Image: Armillaria root rot 3

Armillaria root rot
Armillaria spp.

  • Infected trees have poor growth, dead branches in the upper canopy, undersized and/or yellow leaves
  • Flat white sheets of fungal mycelia (mycelia fans) grow between the bark and sapwood at the base of infected trees
  • Thick black, shoestring-like fungus can sometimes be seen under the bark, around roots and in the soil around the base of the tree
  • Wood is decayed, white, soft and spongy, and this may extend from the base of the tree well up into the trunk
  • Trees frequently break or fall over in storms
  • Clusters of honey-colored mushrooms may grow at the base of the tree in fall
  • More information on Armillaria root rot

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