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Pine pitch canker, also known as pitch or pitch pine canker, is a serious canker disease of pines and Douglas fir caused by the fungus Fusarium circinatum. The disease affects trees in planted forests, nurseries, parks and gardens. In plantations, the disease leads to reduced growth and cone yield and can kill trees. It will also kill tree seedlings in nurseries. Pine pitch canker can have wider impacts in the landscape affecting recreational uses, tourism, and the aesthetic appearance of trees in parks and gardens. The fungus is thought to be native to Central America, but is highly damaging to some pine species elsewhere in the world, including parts of Europe, and further spread is likely. It is not present in Britain but there is a risk it could establish in the southeast if introduced.

Publication type
Plant Health
Publication owner
Forestry Commission