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What Is Fungus on a Tree & Can It Affect Anyone?

January 24, 2023

Diseases brought on by fungus on trees include oak wilt, root rots, butt rot, heart decay or sap decay. They may be harmful to trees, affecting their structural integrity and destroying them, often from the inside. Aside from the safety problem this presents when the tree gets feeble, tree fungi do not transmit to people, which means you should not worry on that front.

Do Not Fear the Fungus

Trees can receive several types of fungal infection and although some fungi might impact both humans and plants, these are rare and are always opportunistic fungi, meaning they’ll benefit from weakened hosts but will not attack healthy plants or humans. Generally, it is vegetables and fruits, not trees, that can transmit the fungus. Therefore, unless you and your tree are both already suffering from extremely bad health, you are not likely to transfer pathogens between you.

Identifying Fungus

You might be unable to identify each one the tens of thousands of types of plant fungus, but trees demonstrate clear indications that indicate which types of fungus might be infecting them. Root rots, for example, often bring about sogginess close to the ground and fungal growthsthat appear like mushrooms, at the base of this tree. Rots that influence the heartwood or sapwood often form fruiting growths across the trunk or branches, while wilts cause leaf discoloration and drooping. Contrary to people, fungal diseases in trees are generally incurable.

Weakened Wood

The biggest effect a tree’s fungal infection will likely have on you will be to weaken the tree wood. When trees have feeble limbs, the joints become less secure. Crotches might be unable to support the burden of branches, particularly the excess pull from the ones that stretch out to the side, increasing the pressure at the joint. Trunks might become hollow and shaky as well, meaning trees can lose limbs or even fall over during storms.

Reducing Tree Hazards

Don’t take chances with feeble tree timber. Because limbs could fall or the whole tree could fall over, keep people away from the tree until it’s possible to make the region safe. If the tree’s branches appear weak, move more than others through winds or rains, or when cracks or even ripping are appearing from the bark, remove these limbs. When the tree is too large for you to manage yourself with a ladder and a pair of sharp clippers or a chainsaw, then call in professionals to do the job.

Maintaining Your Trees

Only prune during the time of year specified to your tree. Many deciduous trees, for example, should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Pruning right before they start to grow again lessens the amount of time they’ll have open wounds during which fungal spores can enter. Some trees can be pruned at any time of the year. Don’t over-water trees, that can result in root rot, encouraging potable fungi to decrypt waterlogged roots and move upwards to the tree.

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