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Tree Fungus Identification

Updated July 19, 2017

There are numerous tree fungus diseases, and some trees are more susceptible to such diseases than others. Some types of tree fungus are very obvious whereas others can be a bit harder to recognise.

Types

Some of the most common tree fungi are root and butt rot and verticillium wilt, which will not be seen until the tree is dying, whereas cankers, powdery mildew, sooty mould, leaf scorch, and needle casts (which only affect conifers) will be noticeable immediately.

Features

Each disease does look slightly different. Verticillium wilt starts in the soil and is an unseen disease that you will not notice until it travels up through the tree to the limbs, twigs, and leaves, causing wilting and death of the branches. By contrast, powdery mildew is a white substance that can easily be seen because it will coat the leaves and branches, causing those areas to die.

More Features

Root and butt rot will start in the soil and base of the trunk, eventually causing splitting of the trunk and discoloured sections of the tree that will look sunken and twisted. Cankers can appear anywhere on the trunk, branches, and twigs and will appear as open sores that may even ooze sap. Eventually, there will be discolouration of the infected areas.

Effects

All these diseases can kill trees. Over time there will be stunted or no new growth of twigs and leaves. Sores will become larger, and the base of an infected tree may begin to sink since the foundation will no longer be sound.

Prevention

The best way to prevent fungus from attacking your trees is to stop it before it happens. Make sure you water when necessary, but do not overwater. Regular fertilisation and pruning of your trees is also important.

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About the Author

Crissi Enger has been freelance writing for five years on a variety of topics and subjects. She has a bachelor's degree from UNLV in both theater and English. Enger has been published on such sites as eHow, Associated Content, Bukisa, and Shvoong.