What Does The Fungus On Your Tree Mean?

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What Does The Fungus On Your Tree Mean?

15 May 2019
 Categories: , Blog

Dusty mildews, slimy molds, and fruiting mushrooms on your tree can all be signs of concern. When a fungus grows on a part of your tree, it is vital that you do some research and begin a course of treatment immediately if necessary. Some types of fungi can quickly kill a tree, while in other cases once you see fungus it is too late. The following can help you know what to expect if you spot fungus on your tree.

Leaves and branch tips

Fungus often grows on leaves and sometimes the tips of young branches. It may appear as dark spots, a powdery residue, or a black, slimy substance. Generally, moisture is the cause. If it's been cool and damp, then powdery mildews often grow. In some cases, you may also have insect pests like aphids. Their sticky excrement can also lead to mildew or mold growth. In most cases there is no cause for concern, the mildew with go away when the leaves drop in fall. You can then rake them up to destroy the spores. Young trees can sometimes be at risk, simply because the mildew blocks photosynthesis and these trees have fewer leaves to make up the loss. There are horticultural sprays that can treat these types of fungi.

Trunk and large branches

Fungus growing off the trunk or a large branch can be more problematic. Shelf fungus are the most common, and their large conks are quite obvious. These conks are the fruiting bodies—the main fungus lives as thread-like filaments beneath the bark. In some cases, once you see the conks, it is too late. This is because the main fungus has already penetrated the heartwood of the tree and decay has begun. Other fungi primarily only live in the crevices between the bark plates. These cause minimal damage and in some cases can be treated.

Roots and tree bases

Any mushrooms that grow up from the base of the tree, or from the ground near the tree, can be a major issue. These indicate two major problems—overly wet soil and possible root rot. You may need to verify that the mushrooms are growing from the tree and that they aren't just in the soil or growing from buried dead wood. If they aren't growing from the tree, fixing the water issue should eliminate them. If they are growing from the tree, rot has begun and the tree will require removal for safety reasons. Otherwise, it could fall over during a storm.

Contact tree removal and maintenance services like Tielis Tree Service for more help.