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dieback

[dahy-bak] /ˈdaɪˌbæk/
noun, Plant Pathology
1.
a condition in a plant in which the branches or shoots die from the tip inward, caused by any of several bacteria, fungi, or viruses or by certain environmental conditions.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90, Americanism; die1 + back2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for die back

dieback

/ˈdaɪˌbæk/
noun
1.
a disease of trees and shrubs characterized by death of the young shoots, which spreads to the larger branches: caused by injury to the roots or attack by bacteria or fungi
2.
any similar condition of herbaceous plants
verb
3.
(intransitive, adverb) (of plants) to suffer from dieback
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for die back

dieback

common symptom or name of disease, especially of woody plants, characterized by progressive death of twigs, branches, shoots, or roots, starting at the tips. Staghead is a slow dieback of the upper branches of a tree; the dead, leafless limbs superficially resemble a stag's head. Dieback and staghead are caused by many fungi and a few bacteria that produce cankers, anthracnose, wilts, and stem or root rots. Nematodes, stem- or root-boring insects, mechanical damage, paving over roots, winter injury from cold or deicing salts, and a deficiency or excess of moisture or an essential element may cause dieback, directly or indirectly.

Learn more about dieback with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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