The Q&A Archives: Will Borers Or Anthracnose Spread After Removal Of Affected Dogwood Tree?

Question: I have an infected 20+ year-old Dogwood. I'm not sure if it is borers or anthracnose. In either case I'm planning on cutting the tree down. Do I need to worry about the borers or anthraconose spreading to the surrounding dogwoods (or other plant material for that matter - camellias, perennials, acuba, azaleas) from the roots left in the ground? Any info you have would be appreciated!
Richmond, VA

Answer: Anthracnose is present throughout the region, so infection from that particular tree as its source is a bit moot. If surrounding plants are unhealthy in general, then they will be more susceptible to infection. Removing the tree would help reduce the immediate source of infection, however. If the problem has been borers (often several problems will beset a tree seemingly all at once or gradually over time as it declines) then it is possible the moths may fly in and attack nearby plants as the moths too will be in the general area. Again, maintaining general plant and soil health will help neighboring plants withstand attack. We have seen many dogwoods succumb in recent years and the weakening effects from the drought from two years ago will probably be evident in even more trees declining. To a large extent there is not much we can do about that, except possible be vigilant for any infestations and certainly water in times of drought.

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