Pest Fungi On Trees - Prevention And Control Measures

When we say the word "mushroom," we usually imagine a sunny forest and mushroom pickers with baskets... Or cooked milk mushrooms on our plate... Beautiful! But there are other mushrooms - monsters, mushrooms-parasites. They attack and destroy our trees like real predators. These are very dangerous and insidious creatures that slowly and imperceptibly destroy our gardens. What to do if you find mushrooms on trees? Why they grew, what are they and how to prevent their appearance, we will tell in the article.

Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
Parasite fungi on trees - prevention and control measures


  • Why do fungi grow on trees?
  • What fungi-parasites on trees can be?
  • Views of the Trichoptera
  • Preventive measures against fungi on trees
  • What to do if there is a Trichoptera on a tree?

Why do fungi grow on trees?

Any plant can be a feeding environment for the parasite fungi, and there are over 10 thousand species, but we will talk about trees. For the possible growth of parasitic fungi on trees, a necessary condition is a basic donor plant, whose vital activity provides food for the fungus.

Damage of tree bark, open wounds are always a risk for infecting the tree with fungal spores. They can be elementary cracks - frost borers, which are often formed during severe frosts. Tree bark cracks may also appear in case of sudden temperature fluctuations, bark burns in early spring.

In very severe winters, bark detachments, cracks between branches and trunk, breakage of branches occur. Poor treatment of the trunk or branches and various other damages are also risk factors for infection.

Parasitic fungi are dangerous first and foremost because of their stealth. Tiny fungal spores that come into contact with the damaged bark surface attach there, form a fungus and attach to the tree. The fungus proliferates, penetrating deep into the wood, slowly destroying its structure, making it loose and corky.

Detecting infestation in a tree at the initial stage is impossible, as the mycelium develops inside the tree over several years. And only after the fruiting bodies of the parasitic fungus appear on the bark surface, when a significant part of the tree has already been destroyed, can we start treatment and try to prolong the life of our pet.

Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
False trutovik (Phellinus igniarius). © plant collector
Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
Grey yellow trout (Laetiporus sulphureus). © Brigitte E

What are the parasitic fungi on trees?

Parasitic fungi are classified according to the choice of host plant on which they parasitize, as well as their mode of reproduction. Fungi that grow on tree bark can be assigned to different morphological categories. Depending on their specialization, parasitic fungi are divided into two kinds: obligate with limited host choice and facultative, whose host choice is unlimited.

Fungi that destroy wood are called xylotrophs. Xylotrophs secrete special enzymes that change the structure of wood, the fungi feed on it and thus take vital nutrients from the tree.

Most species of wood fungi have a broad, flat cap without a stalk or with a very small stalk, and the body of the fungus is often dense and rigid. Some species of wood fungi can be very difficult to separate from the tree on which they parasitize.

The most common parasitic fungi are ergot, rust fungus, buntings, and botrytis. The most common fungi parasitizing on fruit trees are crotophytes. They are perennial wood parasites, which number more than 100 varieties, they look absolutely different, can be of different size and color.

Trutoviks are cap-legged (sessile) mushrooms, most often having a hoof shape and the structure of a fungus, usually, very hard. In general, the fruiting bodies of trout grow along the trunk of a tree, one above the other, but they can also settle on the branches and roots of trees.

From the underside of the cap of the mushroom body there are spores in small tubes. The spores mature by the month of August and, if the mushroom caps are not removed in time, wind, insects, and rain will spread dangerous particles throughout the garden.

Trees infected with corkscrews eventually become weak, hollows appear in their trunks, branches break easily, the life span of such a tree is sharply reduced. In places of wood destruction, rot is formed, it is subdivided into white and brown. If the fungus germinates into the wood, it is impossible to stop its growth. Infected trees sooner or later will inevitably die.

Trutoviks are found throughout Russia and neighboring countries, they are not afraid of any natural disasters, as they live inside the trunks. Young trees are less susceptible to infestation by parasites, they have more vitality and heal bark damage faster.

Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
Flat trout (Ganoderma applanatum). © JOSE MANUEL PEREZ REDONDO

Trout species

Different species of troutwood prefer different hosts. For example, on stone trees and pear trees more often appears fruit trout (Phellinus igniarius) . The fruiting body of the mushroom is perennial and increases in size annually. The color of the upper part is yellow-brown, grayish-black, matte, with the edges of a lighter shade. The appearance of black veins in the wood and white heart rot indicates infestation of the tree.

On plum, bird cherry, hawthorn, sometimes on apple or pear trees appears plum red trutovik (Phellinus tuberculosus) . When a tree is affected in this way, its trunk and branches quickly dry out. The fruiting body of the fungus is hoof-shaped, the velvety upper part is covered with a smooth crust with a rusty rim. Infested wood turns yellow with brown stripes, the rot spreads throughout the trunk, taking over the roots of the plant as well.

The flat trutovik (Ganoderma applanatum) loves old deciduous trees. It usually appears on the roots or root zone of the tree, then a white or slightly yellowish rot creeps upward, eating the heartwood. The upper surface of the perennial fruiting body is whitish-brown or rusty-brown, with grooves and wavy edges. Caps are flat and closely spaced.

Also on weakened fruit trees the true thistle ( Fomes fomentarius) settles. The wood of an infected tree with white or light yellow rot stratifies, beginning at the core, along the annual rings. The old fungus grows to a very large size, it looks like a hoof of pale gray color with grooves and light yellow edges.

Gray Yellow Thistle (Laetiporus sulphureus) prefers cherries. It forms a brown heart rot that spreads rapidly through the wood. The fruiting bodies are annual, connected in a tile-like fashion. Their watery, fleshy tissue with a wavy, light yellow surface becomes brittle as they harden.

The annual fungal bodies of chewed trutovik (Cerioporus squamosus) pick out the pear. They have a small stalk, semicircular shape and flat top. These mushrooms grow low to the ground in groups. Their coloration varies from light yellowish to brown, with dark brown fan-shaped scales.

Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
Phellinus tuberculosus. © Amadej Trnkoczy

Prevention against the appearance of parasitic fungi on trees

Parasitic fungi pose a real danger to any garden. However, do not immediately resort to drastic measures and destroy the tree at the first signs of infestation. It is always possible to prolong the life of the tree.

It is, of course, easier to prevent the disease than to fight it later. So let's focus first on preventive measures. A strong tree is less exposed to all kinds of problems, which means that trees must be timely fed, watered, cared for as it should be, removing withered branches, peeling and flaking bark.

On the features of tree whitewashing before winter, read our article.

To remove old flaking bark before winter whitewashing, you need a wooden stick not to damage the trunk. Particular attention should be paid to the places where large branches connect to the trunk.

Cuts, cracks, places of broken branches should be treated immediately as they appear. For this purpose, you can use 3 percent copper sulfate and garden variety.

Tree bark should be protected from various damages, taking into account your climate zone, the possibility of sudden changes in temperature, severe frost or the possibility of rodents damaging trees.

When there are no leaves on the branches, you can spray the tree with a 5% solution of iron vitriol as prevention.

Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
Fomes fomentarius. ©
Pest fungi on trees - prevention and control measures
The scaly trout (Cerioporus squamosus). © Gansucha

What to do if you found the corm on the tree?

If in spite of all efforts the corm has appeared on the tree in your garden you should immediately take measures. The very appearance of the fruiting body of the corm means that the fungus has already infested at least half of the trunk. A healthy, strong tree will last another five or six years, then it will die anyway. Therefore, our task is, firstly, to prolong the fruiting life of the tree, and secondly, to make every effort not to infect other trees.

Consider the trees necessary no later than July, because in August begins ripening spores. To begin with, as soon as you find the fungal bodies, you should cut them off together with the rotten bark with a sharp garden knife, previously laying under the tree with a plastic sheet or thick cloth so that the cut material does not get on the ground.

The wounds should be cleaned to a stronger wood. After that, everything should be collected and burned. Only after thorough cleaning can sanitation begin.

It is also necessary to pay attention to the extent and location of the infestation. If the trout appeared on the stem, then such a tree will not last more than three years. In such a case it is better to cut the trunk down to the base, clean, carefully smear with 3% copper sulfate (30 gr per 1 liter of water), dry and cement it.

If fungus appeared on a branch, the branch must be cut below the level of the codling. If you can see rot on the cut branch, it means that the lesion has gone down. Such a large branch or an outgrown trunk is removed to the base "on the ring".

The usual scheme of treatment of a small area cut looks like this: cleaned the rotted wood, treated with a strong three to four percent solution of copper sulfate, dried well and covered with garden varnish.

The problem is that after a couple of years garden varnish is destroyed, and the fungal disease can manifest itself even stronger.

I propose to try a slightly different method of treatment of the affected area. After scraping, let's use a strong solution of a preparation called "Fitop Flora-C". It is a microbiological biological preparation which fights pathogenic microflora, strengthens the plant and increases its resistance to all types of rot.

We dilute 10 gr of the biological preparation for 1 liter of water and soak all the infected parts of the tree to the maximum possible depth. We also coat the nearby bark, branches and the trunk, coat the places of earlier cut branches, cracks, trunk joints and all the supposed places of fungi-parasites appearance. After treatment of the tree with Fitopa solution we give it up to two days to dry off well. Then wash the whole bark with concentrated 3% copper sulfate solution, applying it with a brush or sprayer.

Instead of copper sulfate you can use a solution of soda: 100g of soda diluted in 8 liters of hot water, soaked them all over the bark after preliminary cleaning. Leave the tree to dry for a couple of days more and then whitewash with the addition of pest control agents.

Very good to cover affected and potentially dangerous places with "RanNet" paste. This paste-grout is designed to tighten wounds, disinfect and protect open cracks and cuts.

Large cuts and lesions are protected with cement putty: cement with sand 1:1 on copper sulfate solution. Or so: after preliminary scraping and treatment, putty with a boltushka of clay and cowpea in a ratio of 1:1.

After treatment, it is necessary to control diseased trees at least twice a year - in spring and at the end of summer. Then even an infected tree will please you with their fruits for more than 10 years.

Love your garden. Take care of it. And then it will return the favor.


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