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Cotoneaster Damage/Dying????

Hi Everyone
Over the last 4 weeks my carpet of cotoneaster dammeri has died back.  It's lost its leaves leaving just the branches remaining, however, the hebe's remain unaffected.  I have 3 sections of cotoneaster and so far only 2 sections are affected.  I've attached pictures of the damaged/dying foliage and also close up's of the branches before and after doing a scraping of the bark....... I've read up about Fireblight and Honey Fungus so as you can appreciate I'm a little worried.......... Can anyone help in diagnosing what is wrong?????

Thanks in advance!!


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,898
    Whatever it is, I don’t think it’s fire blight. Fire blight leaves stems looking as if they have been completely scorched in a fire. And the tips of the branches bend over in a characteristic “shepherd’s crook” shape.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,157
    I wonder if the damage to the stems is caused by mice/voles nibbling. I get that on some of the Euonymus and the stems of this one are conveniently placed to nibble 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Hi Nutcutlet
    Thanks for your reply...... I have 3 cats who are excellent mice/mole/shrew catchers (unfortunately)......... so I'd be amazed if it was caused by them but also relieved at the same time as the thought of a fungal/disease is my worst fear!!!
  • Hi Pansyface
    If you look at pictures 2, 6, 8 & 12 could that be classed as the tips bending over in a shepherd's crook shape? Or are you saying that because of this characteristic it's not fireblight??? Sorry for asking another question!! 
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,898
    It’s probably easier for you to compare a case of fire blight’s shepherd’s crook symptom to a living plant in front of you than it is for me to compare two photographs.🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited February 2020
    have you had particularly hard frost in the past two weeks, or is the site exposed to strong wind as it almost looks like the after effects of frost/windburn
    or it could be that this species of plant is only semi-evergreen, not fully evergreen?
    what ever it is it doesn't seem to be effecting the remaining new growth stems (no brown patches on the bark) so i'd say they'll be fine once spring comes and all those healthy looking buds start to break
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051
    I'd not worry about it. Looks silimar to mine,and it always springs back
  • There’s a fine cotoneaster in a garden near here ... most winters it keeps most of its leaves, some winters it drops most of them. It always recovers. This year it’s nearly naked but I’m sure it’ll be fine. 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hi Everyone
    Thank you all so much for your replies & reassurance - it is greatly appreciated!! I'll stop fretting and wait for the new growth.  Treehugger80 - no hard frost here just storm Ciara.
    I'll post an update in a months time! 🤞
  • As it’s already February could you get ready to give it good boost with a bottled seaweed feed, I’m not sure when to do it but someone will know. Maybe March/April time. Valerie 
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