Coral Spot

Nectria cinnabarina

Coral Spot

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A close up of coral spot Nectria cinnabarina infection
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Coral spot is an incredibly common and widespread fungal disease that usually only attack dead or dying plant material. It can, however, infect healthy living tissues of woody plants by infecting dead material that is still attached and spreading down the plant. This can cause dieback in a lot of healthy trees and shrubs although it is uncommon in conifers. Characterised by the coral or red coloured pinhead sized pustules that cover the infected material. Unlike many fungal diseases, the pustules can be present year-round and so material that is infected is very contagious as it releases spores through most of the year.
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Identification

Masses of tiny cushion shaped coral pustules all over the branch. These can appear at any time of the year and will originate from a dead piece of woody material such as poor pruning cuts. May also produce similar dark red pustules in spring that on closer inspection look like raspberries but the size of pinheads.

Growth factors

Dead material left on the plant. Poor air circulation.

Symptoms

Multitude of pinhead sized pustules that can can be coral pink or deep red.
Dieback of branches.

Biological treatment

Pruning diseased material at least 15cm past the visible symptoms and burning it. Complete uprooting and removal of diseased soft fruit shrubs which should then be burned.

Chemical treatment

Once the diseased material has been removed, spray immediately and then twice more at 3-week intervals with an approved fungicide.

Lifecycle

Coral spot has a complicated polycyclic life cycle that produces several types of infectious spores.

Prevention

Not leaving piles of dead wood near trees. Making sure pruning cuts are clean and don't leave too much excess material on the plant.
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