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  • Writer's pictureOliver Lester

Battling Hypoxylon Canker: Strategies for Tree Health and Survival

Hypoxylon Canker

At Gregory Forrest Lester, Inc., we're dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and health of Cincinnati's suburban landscape. Trees are vital to our environment, offering shade, improving air quality, and enhancing property values. However, they face threats like, a serious fungal disease. In this blog, we'll delve into the signs, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of Hypoxylon canker, empowering homeowners to protect their trees.


Understanding Hypoxylon Canker: Hypoxylon canker, caused by fungi in the Hypoxylon genus, targets trees like oak, hickory, and beech prevalent in Cincinnati's suburbs. It thrives on stressed or weakened trees, often due to factors like drought, compacted soil, poor drainage, or root damage.


Signs and Symptoms: Early detection is key. Look for:

  1. Canker Formation: Sunken, dark areas on bark with white to gray fungal growth.

  2. Dieback: Wilting, yellowing, or premature leaf drop.

  3. Fruiting Bodies: Black bumps or discs (perithecia) on infected bark.

  4. Bleeding Sap: Oozing or bleeding from cankered areas, especially in humid conditions.



Prevention: Take proactive measures:

  1. Proper Watering: Maintain soil moisture during dry spells.

  2. Mulching: Apply organic mulch to conserve moisture and regulate temperature.

  3. Prevent Injuries: Avoid mechanical damage to tree trunks and roots.

  4. Pruning: Remove dead or diseased branches promptly.



Treatment: While no cure exists, effective management is possible:

  1. Stress Reduction: Improve growing conditions to reduce tree stress.

  2. Fungicidal Applications: Consult professionals for appropriate fungicidal treatments.

  3. Selective Pruning: Remove severely infected branches to prevent spread.

  4. Soil Treatments: Implement soil treatments to enhance tree vigor and resistance.



Hypoxylon canker threatens the health of Cincinnati's suburban trees. At Gregory Forrest Lester, Inc., we're here to help. By recognizing signs, preventive measures, and treatment options like soil treatments, we can protect our urban forest. Let's work together to ensure the longevity and vitality of Cincinnati's trees.

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