Integrated Pest Management
Wood Decay Fungi
Many fungal species
Hosts, Symptoms & Signs
- all trees and shrubs
- wood decay fungi may form fruiting structures called conks on affected branches and trunks, but not always
- presence or absence of conks is not an indication of wood decay
- wood decay fungi can degrade wood strength leading to stem or branch failure
- caused by fungi that decompose most of the wood components
- the leftover material is very light
- fungi causing a brown rot cannot decompose lignin, giving it a reddish-brown color
- limbs can die back, but in some cases wood decay fungi can hollow out branches and tree trunks and the tree will show no symptoms; these trees are prone to sudden breakage in storms
- spores of wood decay fungi enter through wounds caused by winter injury, lawn mowers, incorrect pruning or insect feeding, and start colonizing and decomposing the wood; this process can go unnoticed for years
- Remove affected branches. If the trunk is affected, remove the tree.
- If unsure about the presence of wood decay, have a certified arborist evalutate the tree.