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choisya ternata / ceanothus disease

Last post 22-03-2010 10:44 AM by dimitri. 5 replies.

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  • 20/03/2010 03:44 PM
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    First post and a sad one at that : early last year a wonderfull ceanothus approx 8 years old suddenly died symptoms were brown leaves, which i cut back to no avail. The shrub then developed splits in the main trunk and was no more. Approx 6 months later the ceanothus next to it went exactly the same way. Now 2 out of 3 choisya's have similar symptoms these shrubs are approx 30ft from the ceanothus position. I have cut back the brown leaves etc but again a split is evident in one of the branches. Now is this coincidence, frost damage or heaven forbid a neighbour with weed killer (which unfortunately is quite quite possible) your thoughts for a novice gardener would be gratefully appreciated as id hate to loose more plants. if its of help i can probably post some pix.

     

    thanks in advance     

  • 20/03/2010 04:49 PM
    • Susiq
    • Northumberland
    • 16 Feb 2008
    • 3,126
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    Sorry to hear that eyesblue36, but I think it would be important for you to post some pics, as there are people on here who will be able to give you helpful advice, the more info you can give/show, the better.

  • 20/03/2010 04:57 PM
    • dimitri
    • Devon
    • 14 Jan 2010
    • 158
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    I've lost a ceanothus to the cold this winter, but my choisya has survived and since your losses started last year before the cold weather I dont think your problem is cold.   I'm afraid its more likely to be root disease, of which the most likely is honey fungus. 

     

    There is plenty of diagnostic information on the RHS advice pages.  The key feature is not the rhizomorphs (bootlaces), these are often hard to find.  Look instead for sheets of white fungus, smelling of mushrooms, between the bark and the wood at the collar region and in the main roots.  Note thata its between the bark and the wood, you have to peel the bark off to find it.  The fungus spreads up the roots under the bark, killing the cambium as it goes and then, when it reaches the collar and girdles it, the tree dies.

  • 21/03/2010 08:13 AM
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    mmm just looked up honey fungus and it doent sound pleasant !! will attach some pictures maybe that will help, i havent found any of the mushroom like growths and when i peeled the bark bark on the choisya there was no evidence of a white substance the soil around these plants is mulched and hasnt been tilled for 8 years since the shrubs were introduced. in between these 2 sets of shrubs are a magnolia and garrya which touch wood show no ill signs.

     

  • 21/03/2010 11:22 AM
    • pejaybee
    • norwich
    • 21 Mar 2010
    • 1
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    This is my first post on the RHS website having only just subscribed and noticed the problem with choisya.  Mine is also showing signs of distress at the top of the shrub with brown and wilting leaves there is no further evidence of fungus and there is an abundance of new growth at the base of the shrub. Is there any possibility that this could be honey fungus or could there be another problem that I may have missed.  Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thankyou all very much and I look forward to learning more from this infomative website.

  • 22/03/2010 10:44 AM
    • dimitri
    • Devon
    • 14 Jan 2010
    • 158
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    Pejaybee, what you are describing sounds like cold damage, my own choisya is showing exactly the same symptoms.  Good new growth lower down is an encouraging sign, so dont worry, if it is just cold damage the new spring growth will soon disguise it.