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List of garden plant diseases : Canker and dieback

Canker disease on hazel

Canker disease on hazel

These are general names given to the damage caused by the fungal and bacterial diseases that kill twigs and branches. The bark often dies with a sunken, cracked or papery appearance. Many kinds of trees and shrubs can be affected by these diseases, which are most common in wet localities, on heavy soil and in over-sheltered gardens.

Apples, willow, roses, beech, ash, laburnum and clematis are commonly affected. Prune out the cankers and twigs that have died-back, because these are a source of fresh infection. An application of potash fertiliser helps to toughen the wood.

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