WSU Extension


Common Cultural Problems
Air pollution 
Construction damage 
Desiccating wind 
Drought damage 
Fertilizer burn 
Frost injury 
Hail damage 
Lime-induced chlorosis 
Marginal leaf necrosis 
Morphological changes 
Mosses and lichens 
Needle loss 
Needle tip necrosis 
Nutrient deficiency 
Overwatering or poor drainage 
Plant girdling and circling roots 
Poor pollination 
Salt damage 
Transplant shock 
Winter desiccation 
Winter injury 

print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Apple sunscald
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Common Cultural : Sunscald
(revision date: 7/13/2015)

Sunscald is caused by environmental conditions. Foliage may become bleached, chlorotic or necrotic. The bark of trees can be susceptible to damage by strong sunlight. Newly planted trees or trunks and branches recently exposed by heavy pruning are most at risk. Brown patches may appear on damaged bark, or the bark may split and form canker-like patches. Damage usually occurs on the south-facing portions of the plant. Damaged tissue may be more susceptible to attack by disease- or decay-causing organisms.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Choose the right plant for the location. Some plants can tolerate more sun exposure than others.
  • Proper irrigation during hot weather can increase the plant's resistance to sunscald.
  • Provide partial shade with other plantings or move the plant to a less-sunny location.
  • Avoid planting next to south- or southwest-facing walls.
  • Wrap trunks of recently transplanted trees with a white or light-color bark-wrap in the fall, especially younger trees or ones with dark bark.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


+ Show larger images

Caption: Apple sunscald
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Camellia sunburn
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Dilute latex paint (50-50 paint- latex) on young cherry trunk
Photo by: M. Bush
Caption: Raspberry fruit discoloration due to sunburn
Photo by: M. Bush
Caption: Sunscald on horsechestnut
Photo by: R.S. Byther