Euonymus: Crown gall

categories: Euonymus Euonymus Diseases Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2022-12-01 12:00

Crown gall on euonymus.
Crown gall on euonymus
Photo by: C.R. Foss


Crown gall is caused by a soilborne bacterium. The bacteria infect through wounds on the stems, crown, and roots. Young galls are fleshy, white to greenish, and look like cauliflower when above ground. Older galls are hardened and turn dark brown and woody or corky in appearance. The bacteria can be spread from infected to clean soil by water movement. Damage to plants varies with location and size of galls and is usually minimal, although the stem can be somewhat weakened at the gall site. The growths can be an aesthetic concern.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Plant only disease-free material.
  • Remove and destroy (do not compost) heavily infected plants. Also remove roots and surrounding soil where possible.
  • Prune out galls on stems, when practical. Sterilize pruning tools between cuts to avoid spreading bacteria to healthy tissue.
  • Avoid wounding plants during planting and pruning, particularly the roots or stems near the soil.
  • Do not replant susceptible species in infected soil. Euonymus alata (winged euonymus) is reported to be resistant to crown gall.

Chemical Management

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

  • None recommended