Wilting mulberry tree

This 3-year old, dwarf mulberry tree is having wilting branches. I already cut off a few of the smaller branches in an attempt to prevent a potential infection from spreading. But now the main leader is wilting from the top :disappointed_relieved:

I don’t see any pests on it and it’s definitely not under-watered. Scale has been an issue but I wash it off regularly and have not let it overwhelm the tree (most of what seems to be scale in the photos is actually not)
I painted the trunk with indoor latex paint a month ago (could the paint be the cause?)
Any suggestions/diagnosis?
Should I cut off the main leader or wait and see?



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Looks like verticillium wilt, take off about 6-8” below waiting foliage and seal the cuts immediately, dispose of cuts off property.
That’s what I had t do a few years ag to save my IE mulberry. Act fast

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Doesn’t that start in the roots even though it impacts the ends of branches first? Seems strange that it would help to remove the branches, since the pathogen is likely present in the roots and sending up mycelium in the wood (xylem), which impedes the flow of water to the upper branches.

At least that’s how Verticillium wilt works in avocados, but I believe it’s similar in most host species. For avocados, the tree often recovers and remains asymptomatic (but always still contains the pathogen in the wood).

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I’m not relying on my diagnosis, when it occurred to me I wasn’t able to accurately determine cause, all I know was that removing the scaffold back to the trunk worked to save all other scaffolds and his wilting pic reminds me of how mine looked. I have no idea what caused it, but my tree is still thriving.
Dennis

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I wasn’t questioning the diagnosis, it seems like a reasonable one. From googling, it seems like the symptoms are similar in most of the hundreds of woody host species. I just meant that your tree likely recovered from the initial infection and is still an asymptomatic carrier. I believe there’s no way to remove Verticillium once it’s in the tree tissues.

Since it affects such a large number of species in similar ways, this guidance from UC-ANR for avocados (source) may be helpful for @SfromKY if that’s indeed what the issue is:

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if it is i found helpful info here "How do I save a tree or shrub with Verticillium wilt? Trees and shrubs infected with Verticillium cannot be cured and will likely eventually die. However, you can extend the life of your plants by making sure that you water and fertilize properly. Make sure established trees and shrubs receive approximately one inch of water per week. If rainfall is insufficient, use a drip or soaker hose to apply supplemental water. Fertilize trees as needed, but be sure to base any fertilization on a soil nutrient test. To prevent competition for water and nutrients, remove lawn grass within the drip line of your trees and shrubs (i.e., the edge of where the branches extend) and replace it with shredded hardwood, pine or cedar mulch. On heavy clay soils, use three inches of mulch. On other soils, use three to four inches of mulch. Be sure to keep mulch two inches from the main trunks and crowns of trees and shrubs. In addition, prune out dead branches as they occur. Dispose of these branches by burning (where allowed by local ordinance) or landfilling them. DO NOT bury or compost these branches. Be sure to clean your pruning tools between cuts by dipping them for at least 30 seconds in a 10% bleach solution or (preferably due its less corrosive properties) 70% alcohol. Rubbing alcohol and many spray disinfectants contain approximately this alcohol concentration. Decontaminating your tools will help prevent spread of Verticillium from branch to branch, or more importantly from tree to tree, as you prune.

How do I avoid problems with Verticillium wilt in the future? The best way to avoid Verticillium wilt is to plant trees and shrubs that are immune or resistant. Resistant deciduous trees"https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/verticillium-wilt-of-trees-and-shrubs/

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Back to the OP tree does look like it has wilt but it could also be herbicide. Wet feet is usually why these trees get wilt creating an anaerobic environment with continuous water. Or just lack oxygen in the root zone. Let that tree dry out. All morus species are resistant or immune to verticillium wilt. You’re seeing a zebra in a cow herd. It’s probably not wilt. Don’t give up on this tree just yet.
Early symptoms include browning of the leaves. I don’t see that here. Check wood for discolorations.
Also check for spider mites.

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@Drew51 Thank you for the file. I’m not sure about overwatering. It has been raining here for a few days but nothing too crazy. I will try to let the soil dry out nonetheless.

I agree with you. I was surprised to read that mulberry is actually considered resistant to Verticillium. Here are a few photos from today if that can help. I think the way the leaves are wilting is somewhat ominous and kinda similar to figure 2 in the file you attached?


Uploading: 20240506_215627826_iOS.jpg…

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It may be a goner, it’s looking more and more that way.
Cut the leaves off. Scrap bark on small branches. If brown cut them off. As long as trunk is green under bark it may still make it. Do you graft? If you do just buy a rootstock as many of us have mulberries we can give you starter wood. I have Oscar and Silk hope I grafted Oscar and rooted a stick of Silk Hope.
It sucks as it looked like a nice tree. Cut off everything dead. It can’t hurt at this point.

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