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Dying Ficus nitida trees!
I need some expert assistance! I have twelve Ficus nitidas in my back yard. I've had them for about four years, they have always been hardy and robust, providing excellent shade and privacy. Recently, I noticed that the leaves on one of them looked a little pale and withered. By the next day, the leaves had begun turning brown and falling off. Hundreds would fall off each day and within a couple of days, the tree was entirely dead! To my dismay, this process has continued, killing four more of my trees and two of my neighbor's Ficus trees in the same manner. I took some root samples in to be analyzed at a lab and the only fungus that they found was Pythium. Is this the cause of the death of my trees? If so, what can I do about it?
Posts: 1 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: Monday August 01, 2005Report This Post
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yes it is and u best start saving
Posts: 1 | Location: north west | Registered: Monday August 01, 2005Report This Post
What do you mean? Is Pythium a very destructive fungus? Is it difficult to kill? Have you dealt with this fungus before?
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Hi T,

I don't know if you ever received any help with your problem as it's been a while since you posted. The last person who answered you was just being cruel. It happens sometimes on these boards.

Pythium is a fungus that causes root rot. There are many types of pythium. One of the most commonly known is called 'damping off' when new seedlings just fall over and die overnight. From this site, which has lots of other helpful info.


The Pythium species that infect these plants are ubiquitous in soil. They will cause a disease because environmental conditions are favourable, not as a result of the spread of the pathogen into a new area. Water movement, through irrigation or rain splash can however disperse active zoospores. Plants are generally most susceptible to Pythium when the conditions are unfavourable for plant growth such as unfavourable temperature, excessive moisture, low light or poor nutrient availability.

Each Pythium species is favoured by different conditions.

Pythium survives in the soil by saprophytic growth or by forming resting spores...


Minimising periods of excessive soil moisture are essential for controlling Pythium diseases. Improve the drainage...and if symptoms are present only irrigate for short periods on alternate plant beds to maintain plant growth."


When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
Posts: 42 | Location: Maryland zone 7 | Registered: Friday May 06, 2005Report This Post
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