Sequoiadendron Blight Issues

Sequoiadendron4(6B)August 12, 2014

A while back the USDA came to my house to test some plants for Sudden Oak Death because I purchased some rhodies and azaleas from Greer Gardens this spring. While I still don't have results from the samples they took, I did walk around with the USDA representative and showed her my Giant Sequoia and why I was concerned about it. Ever since its first summer, it would have some brown out of the needles, which I read was somewhat normal for east coast specimens so I didn't think much of it. This summer however, many of the stem tips have seemed to wilt and lose their green color and I've lost 6 branches so far. She took a few samples and just got back to me with the diagnosis today. It's Cercospora Sequoiae aka cercospora blight. I've been reading up on it and it seems like the only thing I can do is to spray with a copper fungicide every 7-10 days June through September during the growing season. I can do this now while it's only 10' tall but once it gets bigger, this is going to be a problem. Now I was hoping to enlist some of you opinions to see whether it was worth the work in keeping it alive or start thinking about a replacement tree.

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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Cercospora Sequoiae gets just about every single Sequoiadendron in the East, except possibly at the extreme northern limits from a winter hardiness perspective.

It's a shame as it's probably one of my most sought-after trees...but unless I move to CA, I probably will never have one long-term.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:21PM
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Where are you located?
I'm in Connecticut, and also have this problem with my Giant Sequoia. Mine is only about 4 feet tall, but every year the bottom branches die, inner branches first working to the outer.. I keep having to limb it up.. I just bought some fungicide and may give that a try. I have seen 10 giants sequoias throughout Connecticut, and most of them have Cercospora. However, I did see one recently that appeared to be resistant.
For natural methods, Edwin had suggested coffee mud around the base. I have also heard sprinkling cornmeal, and spraying foliage with milk! I am going to experiment with these methods and see if anything improves the tree.
Would love to see a picture of yours..


    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:53PM
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Here is mine..

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:04PM
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Here's a pic of mine from two years ago. It's about 10' tall now though. From what I've read, it needs to be totally sprayed with copper fungicide every 7-10 days throughout the summer and it seemed like it had to be sprayed like that every year to prevent this. I suppose that as long as the tree is growing faster than the blight is taking away that the tree would be okay. I have other susceptible trees in the yard to worry about though and I think it's best just to remove my tree. I'm not very pleased about it but it is what it is. I think I'll plant a black tupelo in it's place.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:03AM
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Also, does anyone know how easy Cercospora Sequoiae spreads from tree to tree? Or does it mainly just stay on the host tree?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Here is a link to one growing near my home--Burlington NJ.(6b) Tree must be tougher than the blight. Been there a while 40+ i would guess

Here is a link that might be useful: Giant Sequoia

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 12:24PM
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Thanks for the picture! That specimen in NJ doesn't look the best but at least it's growing.....and it hasn't been treated.

Sequoiadendron giganteum planted in hot/humid areas is susceptible to the following:
Botrytis cinerea
Pestalotia funereal and Cercospora sequoia are leave/needle blighting fungi
Phomopsis juniperovora is a twig blighting fungi

I've successfully used a spray combination of chlorothalonil, mancozeb, and propiconazole on younger trees to prevent dieback. You have to spray weekly.Trees that I've not diligently sprayed have dead twigs and needles so I'm assuming spraying works. As the trees get older, I plan on using a systemic propiconazole injection. It's not known if that will be effective. A lot of maintenance to keep these trees alive outside there natural area...especially in the south. I guess it's worth it when nobody else around has one.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Thanks abciximab. I am growing several different redwood trees in SE NY so it is good to know how to keep these guys thriving.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 12:04AM
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