How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Botryosphaeria Dieback

Pathogens: Species in the fungal family Botryosphaeriaceae, including Neofusicoccum parvum, Diplodia seriata, and Lasiodiplodia theobromae.

(Reviewed 12/14)

In this Guideline:


Botryosphaeria dieback, Esca, Eutypa dieback, and Phomopsis dieback make up a complex of "trunk diseases" caused by different wood-infecting fungi. Botryosphaeria dieback (commonly known in California as "Bot canker") causes death of spurs, arms, cordons, canes, and sometimes the upper section of the trunk, depending on the location of the wood canker. Wedge-shaped (sometimes circular to oblong) wood cankers form in infected wood and are indistinguishable from those associated with Eutypa and Phomopsis dieback. Unlike Eutypa dieback, no characteristic foliar symptoms are associated with Botryosphaeria dieback. Instead, the leaves on a shoot originating from an infected spur or cane will wilt and the shoot will die back completely during the growing season. Other symptoms of Botryosphaeria dieback include dead spurs, stunted shoots, and bud mortality. Such symptoms are shared in common among multiple trunk diseases, which often occur in mixed infection within the vineyard and even within an individual vine.


Botryosphaeria dieback is the most common and widespread trunk disease in California and some of the causal species (e.g., Neofusicoccum parvum) are among the most aggressive trunk pathogens. Symptoms first become apparent in vineyards 5 to 7 or more years old, but the infections actually occur in younger vines. Pycnidia, the overwintering structures that produce spores, are embedded in diseased woody parts of vines. During winter rainfall, spores are released and wounds made by winter pruning provide infection sites. Wine, table, and raisin-grape cultivars are susceptible to disease. Under California conditions, pruning as late as possible in the dormant period has been shown to be very effective in reducing the risk of infection. Delayed pruning takes advantage of reduced susceptibility of pruning wounds to infection and avoids the period of highest spore release during winter rain events. After a pruning wound is infected, the pathogen establishes a permanent, localized wood infection, which cannot be eradicated by fungicide applications.


See EUTYPA DIEBACK for management practices.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Grape
UC ANR Publication 3448


R. J. Smith, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
L. J. Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
W. D. Gubler, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
G. M. Leavitt, UC Cooperative Extension, Madera County
A. H. Purcell, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley
J. J. Stapleton, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Research Center, Parlier
L. G. Varela, UC IPM Program, Sonoma County
S. Vasquez, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County

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