Join the RHS today and support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
Don’t miss out - book in advance and save
Cornus anthracnose is a fungal disease that kills leaves and young shoots of some North American Cornus species (dogwoods). Infections cause dead blotches on leaves and die-back of young stems.
Cornus anthracnose is a fungal disease caused by Discula destructiva, which arrived in the UK from North America in the late 1990s.
It infects and kills the leaves and young shoots of some North American Cornus species (dogwoods). Cornus florida is particularly susceptible, Cornus nuttallii and Cornus kousa may also be attacked. Native UK Cornus species appear unaffected.
Damage occurs from late spring until leaf fall in the autumn.
You may see the following symptoms:
The fungicides tebuconazole (Bayer Fungus Fighter Concentrate), tebuconazole with trifloxystrobin (Bayer Fungus Fighter Plus), and triticonazole (Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra and Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra Gun) are approved for use against various fungal diseases on ornamental plants and could be used, but there is no specific information on their efficacy and no claims are made by the manufacturers for control of this particular disease.
Inclusion of a fungicide product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener.
Fungicides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining fungicides available to gardeners)
Chemicals: using a sprayerChemicals: using safely and effectivelyChemicals: storing and disposing safely
The fungus Discula destructiva causes extensive damage in North America to the native Cornus species, which are an important landscape feature. The disease is known there as anthracnose and was first noted in the 1970s. The fungus is not thought to be native to North America, but its origins are unknown. It was first detected in the UK in the late 1990s and was probably introduced accidentally on infected plant material.
The fungus produces very small, pimple-like fruiting bodies on dead leaves and stems and in wet weather minute spores are released from these and dispersed by rain-splash, wind-blown rain and, probably, by animals and birds. Wet conditions are required for infection.
No other spore types are known and it is assumed that the fungus can remain dormant in affected twigs and bark during the winter, to produce fresh spores the following spring.
Brown leaves on woody plantsCoppicingCornusCoral spotDisposing of diseased materialPruning for colourful stemsTrees and shrubs with attractive barkWhy has my tree or shrub died?Willow anthracnose, scab and canker
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9