In many cases, tree diseases lead to the loss of aesthetics of the plant that has been affected. However, some of these diseases can cause fatal damage, which may weaken the structure of the tree and eventually lead to more hazardous conditions that may in turn be the cause of property damage and bodily injuries. It is, therefore very important that the tree surgeonsrecognize these conditions and take measures before it is too late. Most of the time, hazardous conditions in the tree are result of fungi. The pattern that is followed is usually as follows:
  1. A wound in the tree may occur due to wind damage, pruning or some lawn-mowing incident.
  2. In this vulnerable wound, fungus may enter the tree and cause discoloration of the wood. It may also result in roots rot directly.
  3. This fungus starts to produce enzymes in abundance, hence leading to further decay of the wood, weakening it to the core.
  4. Due to this, the limbs of the affected tree start to loose strength. Either that or the roots begin to decay. Hence, the very foundation of the tree suffers greatly.
  5. The fungus starts to reproduce in the shape of mushroom and such species. You will finally start seeing the growth of this fungus on all parts of the tree.
  6. Eventually, the larger limbs start to decay and fall off. In case the roots have been affected, the entire tree might fall off with heavy wind or any other such condition.

You may or not be able to realize that a tree is on its move to decline if it starts to show certain symptoms. Such as, branch die back, slowed growth, unusually small leaves, excessive seed set or cone and premature autumn symptoms including leaf coloration.

Once the tree has been affected, there is nothing that can be done to undo the damage. Once the soil is infected, it can never be entirely eliminated from the earth, and a tree needs to be removed instantly. Even, if the tree otherwise appears totally healthy, but some of its branches have fungus growing on them, the branches should be removed immediately.

Types of Fungus Usually Involved:

Armillaria

Armillaria

This kind of fungi often results in root rot as well as shoestring root rot and often appears in a significant variety of hardwoods and conifers. The fungus appears in a fruiting form and can be honey colored mushroom and may keep coming back during autumn.

Ganoderma lucidum

Ganoderma lucidum

Because of this fungus, a unique, shelf-like structure is formed on the wood. On yearly basis, fruiting structure is built, usually in overlapping clusters. These clusters are usually cream to white with reddish brown tops.

Fomes fomentarius

Fomes fomentarius

The fruiting material caused due to this fungus is usually hard and gray toned from the top, hoof-shaped and around 8 inches across. If you check the underside of this hoop, you will find millions of little white pores in which spores grown. This fungus mostly affects apple, cherry, maple and hickory.

Inonotus dryadeus

Inonotus dryadeus

Particularly found on oaks, this fungus may cause rot on butt or root. The most hazardous thing about this disease is that it may lead to sudden toppling of the tree without any pre-symptoms. However, a few things that you may notice in advance are yellowing of the leaves and branch dieback. The root rot starts off before any symptom can be observed on the trunk and branches of the tree.

Ganoderma applanatum

Ganoderma applanatum

Butt rot is caused by this fungus and may take up to years till the tree eventually dies of the disease. However, due to this, tree may become susceptible to wind-throw.

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