The Q&A Archives: Disease Phytopthora?

Question: I bought last spring I bought two Blue Muffin Arrowood Viburnum. The first year they grew great with dark green leaves etc. This spring they started out fine, but right at flowering the clusters dried up and fell off. Then I noticed black spots on the leaf margins and the spot moves up the leaf and then they fall off. The the leaves are pale and the growing points of the shrub are dying.

I saw some photos of Arrowood with Phytopthera that looked very much like the signs I have. If you think that this may be it. Is there any control? Or are they doomed. They also talked about a new nasty disease from the Netherlands coming here on Nursery stock, if this is it, should I destroy the plants before it spreads to my other plants?

Answer: Unfortunately, this type of symptom is impossible to diagnose long distance. I would strongly suggest you work with your local county extension to obtain a specific diagnosis of the problem and based on knowing that, decide how to proceed. They may appreciate photos of the overall plant and closeups of the affected portions along with freshly cut samples enclosed in a plastic bag and kept cool so they stay fresh. They may even send these to a plant pathologist if they are unsure of the identification. Please don't just destroy your plants without knowing specifically what the problem is.

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