Location Central Alabama

Phytophthora Canker in Alabama: Understanding and Addressing this Tree Disease with Ace Tree Services

Phytophthora canker is a disease that affects the bark and outer sapwood tissues of trees and shrubs in Alabama, including the Birmingham and Huntsville regions.

Ace Tree Services is dedicated to educating the public about Phytophthora canker, its impact on trees, and how our company can help mitigate the problem.

What is Phytophthora Canker?

Phytophthora canker is caused by a group of water mold pathogens that damage the bark and outer sapwood tissues of trees and shrubs. The most noticeable symptom of this disease is dark-colored sap oozing from bark cankers, which is typically reddish-brown and stains the surrounding bark as it flows downward. The infected bark often appears water-soaked and discolored, while the inner sapwood may show various abnormal colors (brown, bluish-green, orange, and pink) depending on the specific species of Phytophthora present.

Phytophthora canker disrupts the water transport system within infected trees, causing foliar symptoms such as undersized foliage, early fall color, wilt, stunted shoot growth, and branch blight. Once a tree is infected, the pathogen survives as resting spores in the bark cankers.

Why is Phytophthora Canker a Concern?

Phytophthora canker is a slow-progressing, chronic disease that can weaken trees over time. Although the pathogen typically does not spread easily between trees, infected trees can become more susceptible to secondary infections from wood-rotting fungi.

How Can Ace Tree Services Help?

Accurate diagnosis is crucial before undertaking any management strategies for Phytophthora canker. Bleeding cankers can also be caused by fungal (e.g., Botryosphaeria and Diplodia) and bacterial (e.g., Pseudomonas) pathogens, which may resemble those produced by Phytophthora.

Ace Tree Services can help Alabama residents address Phytophthora canker by providing:

Chemical treatments:

These can be effective in managing Phytophthora canker when used correctly.

Preventive measures:

Avoid unnecessary bark wounding from string trimmers, mowers, and vandalism, especially near the soil line where splashing spores are most likely to contact the bark.


Maintaining a layer of mulch around the base of susceptible trees can help prevent spore germination and dispersal from the soil.

Proper planting:

Avoid planting susceptible trees in locations with wet or saturated soils to minimize the risk of infection.

By offering valuable information and effective solutions, Ace Tree Services aims to help maintain the health and beauty of Alabama's trees and shrubs in the Birmingham and Huntsville regions. Call an ISA certified arborist from Ace Tree Service at (205) 332-7757!

Phytophthora Canker in Birmingham Al
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Birmingham, AL 35222


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