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Raspberry cane blight is a common and serious fungal disease of raspberries, causing extensive die-back of canes.
Tiny, black fungal fruiting bodies appear on canes affected by raspberry cane blight
Cane blight is a disease of raspberries caused by the fungus Paraconiothyrium fuckelii, which infects the developing canes through wounds, causing them to die back. The disease is often associated with attacks by raspberry cane midge. You will see attacks from mid-summer.
Blackberries can also be affected, but on them the disease is of little significance. The fungus causing cane blight can also cause a canker disease of roses and a root rot of strawberries.
You may see the following symptoms:
There are no fungicides available to home gardeners for the control of raspberry cane blight.
Spores are produced by the tiny black fruiting bodies and are splashed by rain and infect the canes if they remain wet. A second type of fruiting body is produced on old canes in spring, releasing spores that can be carried for long distances on the wind.
Infection invariably occurs through a wound to the cane. The wounds can be caused by a number of factors, including pruning damage and frost cracks. The fungus invades frequently through areas of feeding damage caused by the raspberry cane midge and in this case, the disease is often referred to as midge blight.
Poor soil conditions, such as waterlogging, weaken the plants and make them more susceptible to attack. The fungus is able to survive for some time in the soil on buried raspberry wood.
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