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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Hackberry > Leaves wilt and turn yellow or brown

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Hackberry > Leaves > Leaves wilt and turn yellow or brown

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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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  • 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 Branch cankers...
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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 Coral spot canker...
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  • Image: Heart rot 1
  • Image: Heart rot 2
  • Image: Heart rot 3

Heart rot
Polyporus squamosus, Laetiporus sulfereus and others

  • The canopy may show no symptoms or may have small yellowing leaves/dead branches depending on the extent of the trunk decay
  • Fungal fruiting bodies arise along the stem, near a pruning wound, crack or other wound
  • Many shapes and sizes of fungal fruiting bodies may be seen
  • In cross section of the trunk, the wood at the center is discolored, soft, crumbling, stringy or spongy
  • 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.

  • Leaves are smaller in size and turn yellow earlier than normal
  • Canopy appears thin with few leaves and multiple dead branches
  • 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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