I didn't realize this was a Canadian site, but I hope someone can help me anyway. This site is the most informative I could find. I live in Northern California, on a 3 acre property which has 2 mature Madrones (50+ years) and one baby, about 14 feet tall. Last fall the baby first fell ill. I have read all of the postings here, and it would seem to be the common black fungus, but with a characteristic I have not seen described here. The entire tree is black, but for the new growth, which keeps on coming, and is bright green and healthy looking. This is at the center of each floret of leaves. A couple of green ones, surrounded by black. They too eventually turn black, but the tree is in a perpetual state of little bursts of color evenly spaced throughout the tree. Now, one of the large Madrones, 15 feet away, is exibiting the same symptoms. I have lived on this property all of my life, and have never witnessed anything other than vigorous health in these trees. However, in the past 5 years or so, we have seen an explosion of the gopher population. Their burrows are EVERYWHERE! In some spots, the ground gives way under your feet. I have seen that "root disturbance" can be a factor in the decline of these trees. Would gophers qualify? And would root disturbance manifest itself in this manner? Thank-you.