Patches - Frost-patches - Bruising due to hail, shot, etc.- Fire - Sun-burn or scorching - Sun-cracks. Dying-back - Frost - Fungi - Wound fungi - Defoliation by insects - Defoliation by hand - Staghead.

Necrosis - Necrotic Plant Diseases

Necrosis. - This is a general term for cases where the tissues gradually turn brown or black in patches which die and dry up, the dead area sometimes spreading slowly and invading the usually sharply demarcated healthy tissues around. It is a common phenomenon on the more slender stems or branches of trees, especially those with a thin cortex, and the terms Brand or Scorching sometimes applied signify the recognised resemblance between burnt patches and these dead areas of necrotic tissue.

Necrosis is often due to frost, which kills the cortex of Pears, Beech, etc., in patches of this kind. The dead cortex and cambium stick to the wood beneath and contract as they dry. The living cambium and cortex around them then begin to push in callus towards the centre of the necrotic area; but since this callus is formed under the pressure of the cortical tissues it does not form a thick lip or margin to the healing wound, as it does in a Canker, but insinuates itself with thinned-off edges between the wood and the dead tissue, or at most traps a little of the latter in the final closing up of the wound. It is easy to see how such an area of Necrosis may become a Canker if the dead tissues split or slough off, and fungi or insects obtain access to the callus at the margins of the area, setting up the disturbances described on p. 222. As matter of fact many Cankers - e.g. those of the Larch disease, and those due to Nectria, or Aphides, etc. - often begin as flattened or depressed areas of Necrosis started by frost, and many small necrotic patches would eventually become Cankers if not healed up by the callus.

Necrosis may also be due to the bruising of the tissues by large hailstones, to gun-shot wounds, or to any form of contusion which kills the living cells of cortex and cambium.

Necrosis is a natural and common result of fire, and it frequently happens after forest-fires which have run rapidly through the dry underwood, fanned by steady winds, that the lower parts of the boles are scorched on one side only. The killed cambium and cortex then dry up in black necrotic patches, which may eventually heal up by intrusion of callus from the uninjured parts.

Notes to Chapter 26

The principal literature as regards frost is given in the works of Frank, Sorauer, and Hartig already referred to. An excellent summary will be found in Hartig's Diseases of Trees, p. 282, and in Fisher "Forest Protection," Vol. IV. 01 Schlich's Manual, p. 423.