Phytophthora is a genus of oomycetes that are similar to fungi. There are 59 species of Phytophthora , all of which cause disease in plants. Phytophthora ramorum is the species responsible for Sudden Oak Death. Phytophthora are natural and universally occurring soil organisms which attack roots in poorly drained or anaerobic soils. As infected roots discolor and decay, the result is wilt, canopy dieback, cankers on the trunk, general decline and death. Phytophthora species are host specific attacking many types of trees including ash, cherry, pine, spruce, hemlock, fir, pear and dogwood.
Leaves will appear drought-stressed, sometimes turning dull green, yellow, red, or purple as they wilt. Infected bark is water-soaked, with red-brown discoloration and has a disagreeable odor. Bleeding cankers form at the base of the trunk and eventually lead to death. Phytophthora root rot infection is often followed by beetle infestation and/or an alternate pathogen infection.
Info Source: Arborjet
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