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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous > Basswood/Linden > Leaves pale to yellow and small

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Basswood/Linden > Leaves > Leaves pale to yellow and small

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  • Image: Stem girdling roots 1
  • Image: Stem girdling roots 2
  • Image: Stem girdling roots 3

Stem girdling roots

  • Affected trees are often stunted, exhibit poor summer color, change color and lose their leaves early in the fall
  • Affected trees commonly exhibit water-stress symptoms such as marginal leaf scorch, wilting, sudden leaf fall
  • Affected trees commonly exhibit excessive and abnormal winter damage including true frost cracks and dieback
  • A root circling or running against one or more sides of the trunk of the tree may be seen at the soil line
  • The trunk may become sunken in or compressed where it contacts the root
  • If the girdling root is below ground, the trunk will lack the natural widening or flare at the soil line so will go straight into the earth like a telephone pole; trees often exhibit an abnormal lean
  • Many weak young shoots/sprouts at the base of the tree
  • Trees break off at the soil line during wind storms
  • More information on Stem girdling roots...
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  • Image: Verticillium wilt 1
  • Image: Verticillium wilt 2
  • Image: Verticillium wilt 3

Verticillium wilt
Verticillium dahliae

  • Leaves are small and yellowed in chronic infections
  • Leaves turn brown from the edges and tips, wilt and die in severe infections
  • Leaf symptoms are often seen on only one or a few random branches in the canopy
  • Brown streaks often can be seen in the sapwood if the bark is peeled back, appearing as rings or arcs in a cross cut
  • Symptoms may develop over a single growing season, or over several years
  • More information on Verticillium wilt...
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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 base of the tree 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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