Usually found on dead wood, this fungal disease will migrate to living tissue after entering via pruning snags and frost-damaged twigs. Small, pinky-orange or coral-coloured pustules will be seen on the bark and these contain the spores. In living tissue the thread-like hyphae it uses to grow throughout the plant tissue, block the xylem vessels, preventing the flow of water causing wilting and die-back.
Coral Spot disease has infected this pruning snag, the branch should have been cut off cleanly at its base.
Treatment is difficult so to prevent infection remove dead branches and twigs lying around. When dieback occurs due to frost damage, cut out dead material at least 15cm into healthy wood. Do not leave snags when pruning, ie. prune to just above a bud or back to the trunk of a tree when removing a branch. Sealing pruning wounds can trap the spores so it is best not to use a sealing compound. Burn infected material.
Use a fungicide after removing infected material and repeat after three weeks.
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