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Other Needle Casts and Blights

A number of other fungal diseases affecting conifer needles are common throughout B.C. Although generally less damaging than the diseases described in the previous pages, localized epidemics can result in significant economic loss.


Fungal Organism

B.C. Hosts


Lophodermium pinastri (Shrad.:Fr.) Chev.

all pines

Oval, black fruiting bodies scattered over dead needles, separated by shiny black, transverse lines (Fig. 57a).

Lophodermium seditiosum Minter, Staley, & Millar

black, maritime, and red pine

Similar to L. pinastri, but transverse lines are lacking or brownish.

Davisomycella ampla (J. J. Davis) Darker

lodgepole pine

Oval, black fruiting bodies form on straw-coloured portions of needles. These areas are often separated from green tissue by an orange-brown band (Fig. 57b).

Bifusella linearis (Peck) Höhn.

whitebark and western white pine

Long, black, shiny fruiting bodies form on needles

Lirula macrospora (R. Hartig) Darker

white, black, Sitka, and Engelmann spruce

Fruiting bodies appear as elongate black lines, often running the full length of needles which remain on the twigs after they have been killed (Fig. 57c).

Delphinella abietis (Rostr.) E. Müller
Delphinella balsameae (Waterm.) E. Müller

subalpine fir

Young fir shoots are killed soon after they appear, but spores are not produced on the needles until the following spring (Fig. 57d).


Funk, A. 1985. Foliar fungi of western trees. Can. For. Serv., Inf. Rep. BC-X-265.

Hunt, R. S. 1995. Common pine needle casts and blights in the Pacific region. Can. For. Serv., Forest Pest Leaf. No. 43. Victoria, B.C.

Ziller, W. G. and R. S. Hunt. 1977. Lophodermium needle cast of pines in nurseries and plantations. Can. For. Serv., Forest Pest Leaf. No. 52. Victoria, B.C.


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Figure 57a: Lophodermium sp. on lodgepole pine.




Figure 57b: Fruiting bodies of Davisomycella ampla on lodgepole pine.





Figure 57c: Fruiting bodies of Lirula macrospora on Sitka spruce.





Figure 57d: Symptoms of Delphinella blight on subalpine fir.