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Protecting Your Trees From Hypoxylon Canker

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Trees that have a discolored, dry, or sick appearance may be infected with type of fungus known as Hypoxylon Canker. This type of infection will cause a tree's bark and branches to drop off, revealing a fungal tissue underneath that is called the stroma. Stroma can range widely in color; however, it is usually gray. 

Once an infection of Hypoxylon Canker becomes severe, there's not much that can be done to save infected trees. However, Hypoxylon Canker usually only attacks trees that are already under stress, so this type of infection can be prevented by keeping trees healthy.

The following are six tips that can help tree owners to avoid the problems caused by a Hypoxylon Canker infection:

  • Ensure proper nutrient uptake by the roots- If a tree's roots are taking in enough nutrients, the type of stress that leaves a tree susceptible to Hypoxylon Canker infections can be avoided. Aggressive nutrient uptake programs may be necessary for trees that are already visibly stressed or damaged.
  • Prune periodically- Pruning can help to get rid of limbs that are weak or dying. It can also give healthy parts of a tree room to grow and flourish. 
  • Prevent limb and trunk injuries- Infections often take root in areas where limbs and trunks have suffered injuries. Perforations in a tree's bark can allow fungal infections like Hypoxylon Canker to penetrate into a tree. 
  • Don't put reductions or soil additions around a tree's roots- Reductions or soil additions placed around the main trunk of a tree can cause bark tissue to begin breaking down. This can lead to entry wounds that help fungal infections to take root. 
  • Water properly- Proper watering keeps a tree healthy and helps avoid the stress that can lead to Hypoxylon Canker infections. Develop a regular watering routine that's appropriate to your geographic region and climate. Watering at the appropriate time of day can prevent trees from accumulating excess moisture that can lead to the development of fungal infections.
  • Remove dying trees- A tree that is clearly dying should be removed. Dying trees could be hazardous not only to surrounding trees, but also to people and property. Trees that are dying are likely to have an infection that could be spread to their neighbors. Hypoxylon Canker itself can be spread from tree to tree, so any tree that is clearly diseased should be suspect as a potential host of the infection. 

For more information, contact Destiny's Tree Service LLC or a similar company.


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