I am a forester in central WV and have been involved with fighting the spread of Japanese stiltgrass for most of the past decade.
Everything I have read about stiltgrass indicates that there are no known diseases of the plant that have an impact on its health or spread.
A couple of years ago I started to notice that in some places the stiltgrass was dying.
This year in some portions of WV there is a massive die off of stiltgrass with 100% of some populations dying. My thought it that it could be a virus of some sort.
I have taken a tremendous amount of photos of the changes in the stiltgrass plants and below are a few images. When the plants die the thatch is different and the stiltgrass is decomposing much more rapidly than when they go their full life cycle. There are many areas where there will be no seed produced this year.
Samples of the grass were taken to WVU in Morgantown, WV last week to see what was killing the plants.
Below are a couple of photos.
Thank you for your thoughts or comments.
Russ Richardson, Certified Forester Crummies Creek Tree Farm PO Box 207 Arnoldsburg, WV 25234
Spots on the leaves is the first sign that the plants are sick.
It moves pretty quickly once lesions show up on the leaves. Most of the straw on the ground is stiltgrass that died already. The tan area in the center of the photo is dead and dying stiltgrass. The last plants in an area that was almost waist high a month ago.