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Got Mushrooms? How It Affects Your Trees

Got Mushrooms? How It Affects Your Trees

  • 12/19/2016

Got Mushrooms? Everything You Need to Know About Mushrooms at Your Tree’s Base

When your lawn is full of new trees, vibrant blooms, and lush, green blades, you are a happy camper. However, when you have the new growth of mushrooms at the base of your trees, you aren’t exactly thrilled. Or should you be? Are they good for your tree or bad? Well, it depends on the type of mushroom. Some can be beneficial for your tree’s roots, while others can be dangerous. One particularly type that is dangerous is honey fungus, and this is what you need to be able to identify and treat. Read on to learn more.

Honey Fungus: What It Looks Like and Tips for Identification

Honey fungus mushrooms are yellowish-brown in color and typically grow in a cluster around the roots or at the base of the tree. Around the mushroom stems, there is a white ring. When the mushroom is in peak condition, you will notice that they have a flat top. Usually, these mushrooms are seen during the late summer and/or early winter. If you think the mushroom is honey fungus, take a big breath in and see if you notice a sweet smell. If you do, there’s a good chance it is.

Also, you should look for leaves that are small and pale, early fall coloring and/or early leaf droppings, white fungus growing underneath the tree’s bark that has a mushroom aroma, and a concentrated and considerable growth of fruit or flowers.

Types of Trees Impacted

As a general rule, honey fungus is particularly attracted to oak trees. However, honey fungus also likes to attack fruit trees, birth trees as well as hedge plants. So, if you have any of these, make sure to keep an eye out for this particular type of fungi.

What Does Honey Fungus Do to the Trees?

This particular type of fungus specifically attacks tree roots and causes them to start deteriorating. Eventually, the roots may die completely. Since this begins at the tree’s base, the fungus will eat all the wood and bark in this area, which will result in the tree becoming structurally unstable and at risk of breaking and falling. Once the honey fungus mushroom invades the tree’s roots, it is very difficult to control and treat. Therefore, prevention is essential.

Do not:

  • Leave any diseased or dead branches on your trees, as this increases the risk of an infection.
  • Over-water the trees, as honey fungus tends to thrive in moist conditions.
  • Fail to protect the tree’s roots from damage due to infestation from diseases and pests or machinery.

Treating and Managing Honey Fungus

Sadly, once the honey fungus mushroom invades the tree, a fungicide will not work, and the effects of the fungi are usually devastating. It will spread underground, so it is often recommended to have a certified arborist inspect any plants nearby the infected tree.

As a general rule, it is recommended to remove and destroy any and all infected plants. This helps to ensure that your other plants are not impacted by the fungi. In less severe cases, your tree can sometimes be transplanted. However, this is rarely the case.

If you believe your tree has honey fungus mushrooms growing at the base of it, contact us immediately at Precision Enterprise. The longer you wait, the more damage that can be done.