Pest and Life Cycle – (Sirococcus conigenus / Kabatina sp.) Tip blight is a fungus that affects both Atlas (Cedrus atlantica) and Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara), with the Sirococcus being the most common. It has a one year life cycle with the fungus overwintering in dead shoots and infecting the base of new needles from spring to summer – especially during periods of prolonged rain with temperatures between 60-70F. Atlas Cedar is a North African species and is accustomed to a drier climate.
Symptoms – Needles change colour from blue to tan or pinkish and drop, with tip dieback being quite common.
Management – Fixed Copper sprays applied regularly (at label rate) through periods of wet warm weather from spring to early summer will help control its spread.
Prevention – 1. Prune out all dead or diseased branches once the rains have subsided and dispose of in the garbage (do not compost). 2. Rake up all fallen needles at the base of the plants.