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We have an otherwise apparently healthy euonymus in our garden, but a couple of branches have gone very pale, wide and flat with tightly bunched stunted leaves on the end. What causes this and is it anything to worry about?

Strange euonymus growth 1 Strange euonymus growth closeup

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This is something called fasciation, caused by abnormal growth activity - as to what triggers that, there are 4 possible causes:- bacterial infection, viral infection, random genetic mutation, or injury through cold, mechanical damage or other damage. Those brown things might be adult scale - check the backs of other leaves, looking for white flecks - a heavy infestation of euonymus scale might have triggered the fasciation effect. If you find any, June is a good time to spray - Westland Resolva Bug Killer, or a systemic insecticide such as Provado Ultimate Bug Killer (more effective) should do the trick.

The fasciation may recur if its a result of viral activity, but usually, its an occasional event.

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    Accidental overspray from some herbicides can produce this growth as well. Jun 7 '15 at 23:57
  • Thanks! I picked off and squashed a couple of what looked like female scales but didn't find much else so I'll keep an eye on it and hope it doesn't recur.
    – Jez
    Jun 9 '15 at 20:55

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