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Understanding The Damaging Effects of Tree Fungi

Fungi that grow on trees can affect overall tree health, and can even cause trees to die or weaken to the point of becoming a danger.

Understanding the Damaging Effects of Tree Fungi and How It Can be Treated

Fungi that grow on trees can affect overall tree health, and can even cause trees to die or weaken to the point of becoming a danger. While often viewed by homeowners as harmless, tree fungi can cause diseases. When a spore takes hold on a tree under the conditions that create the production of fungi, it can enter and feed on the tree. When this happens, you will typically see toadstools, dwarf benches, puffballs and different kinds of mushrooms growing on the tree.

Fungi is responsible for the following tree diseases:

Polypore - Wikipedia

These diseases infect the roots causing decay and death of the roots. Root and Butt rot diseases cause decay of tree trunks – affecting the structural integrity of the tree causing total failure without advanced warning.


This problem usually enters through wounds on the branch stubs. Canker diseases are commonly caused by improper tree pruning techniques.


These diseases are among the most common plant diseases. Symptoms present as small or large blotches on leaves and needles and can lead to the death of leaves and shoots.


When this disease has attacks a tree’s vascular system, it can be deadly. Vascular wilts can disrupt the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients.


It can be difficult to save a tree that has been attacked by fungi. Prevention is the key as a healthy tree is less likely to become a host for the fungi. The methods for keeping a tree healthy include watering during drought periods and following a maintenance fertilization schedule. Fungicides can be applied to control some fungi diseases by inhibiting the fungi growth when applied before it takes hold.

Proper pruning of young trees will promote a strong structure. Cutting large limbs from older trees will create large wounds which are susceptible to the growth of fungi. That said, dead or diseased limbs should be cut off. Tree Pruning, if necessary, should be done by a professional who can utilize a pruning technique that will enable the wound to close properly.

Fungal management is a science. The tree experts at Princeton Tree Care have the knowledge and the experience to examine your trees and determine if any are at risk from a fungus attack of any kind.


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