Douglas Fir: Stem cankers

categories: Conifers Douglas Fir Diseases Ornamentals

revision date: 2023-01-31 12:00

section of Douglas fir stem showing sunken and oval canker.
Douglas-fir stem canker
Photo by: Unknown


Stem cankers on Douglas fir are sunken and oval, occurring on branches or new shoots. Each canker is typically centered around a dead twig and can be small or up to 30″ long or more. Cankers result in death of the stem or branch above the point of infection. Young, stressed trees are most susceptible. Infection often occurs following drought, frost damage, or mechanical injury. Two asexual fungi cause the disease. See also Douglas fir: Upper stem canker.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Provide proper culture for trees to increase their disease resistance.
  • Avoid injuring trees to help reduce chances of infection.
  • Prune out infected shoots and branches to reduce spread of disease. Make pruning cuts well below cankers. Destroy infected material.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended

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