How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Branch wilt—Hendersonula toruloidea

The earliest symptom of branch wilt is the yellowing and withering of leaves on small, outermost branches during July and August. Next, all the leaves on the infected larger limbs suddenly wither, turn brown, and dry up. These leaves remain attached to the twigs well after the other leaves have fallen. Portions of the thin outer layer of the bark peel away, exposing a black sooty mass of fungal spores. Diseased limbs have a gray to dark brown discoloration in the shape of a cylinder or partial cylinder extending into the center of the wood.


Branch wilt develops only in warm temperatures. The fungus invades only through splits, frost damage, and sunburn injury. Remove infected limbs in the fall after the leaves from healthy branches have dropped. Prune out diseased limbs, cutting back into healthy wood, and burn them. Avoid sunburn by maintaining vigorous trees through adequate irrigation, fertilization, and pest control.

Yellowing and withering of leaves
Yellowing and withering of leaves

Cracking and peeling of bark
Cracking and peeling of bark

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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