A fungus is a nasty, nasty problem for many trees in South Jersey. Wet and humid conditions can lead to the development of more fungi, which easily spread across plants and yards. Untreated, tree fungi can completely devastate a tree, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients. This will make the tree weak and eventually lead to its demise. Each tree will react differently, but the key to saving your tree is discovering and treating the fungi as early as possible.
Tree care professionals are trained to spot tree fungi from across the yard, but most people don’t recognize some of the most common symptoms. Instead, they ignore the problem until something worse happens and they can’t go back to the healthy trees that they once knew and loved. Here are a few common signs of tree fungi in South Jersey that all residents should be aware of:
4. Check the Wounds
- Tree Already Weak in These Places
- Canker Diseases and Fungi
One of the most common places where a tree fungus will start is in the wounds on a tree. If you have pruned a tree by yourself or your tree has been damaged in a storm, it is now susceptible to fungus in those locations. Make sure to check your tree regularly for any growths, starting with the lower wounds and working your way up, according to the University of Kentucky.
Canker fungi are the most common fungi found in the wounds of a tree, but there are plenty of other types that can end up in there as well. These fungi tend to be the worst of the worst, killing your tree quickly because your tree is weak and the fungus can essentially set up camp inside of the tree.
Spot fungi in the wounds by looking for dark discoloration around the wounds. You can also do this by looking for soft spots or wetness around the wounds of the tree, but more on that later.
3. Beware of Splotches
- Splotches Don’t Always Mean Death
- Check the Stems for Early Identification
- Foliar and Shoot Diseases
Don’t think that the only way to identify tree fungi is to look at the trunk. The leaves and needs on the tree carry quite a bit of information as well. Look for any growths or discoloration around the leaves and needles. You may find white spots that easily wipe off or you will see brown to black bubbles. These are completely different problems and are treated differently.
Small spots are often overlooked, but they can sometimes be the most dangerous, so be sure to look closely. Start with the lower branches, as they are the most common to show signs of the fungus, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden.
If you look at your trees regularly, which is one of the most important things you can do to keep your tree healthy, you will be able to identify which splotches are a normal part of the tree and which ones are something to be concerned about.
2. Check for Soft Spots
- Not Always a Fungus
- Reveals Deeper, Serious Problems
- Wash Hands Quickly
So many people only use their eyes to identify problems with their trees. However, one of the most common signs of a tree fungus in South Jersey is a softening of the bark or branches of the tree. When you are doing your seasonal investigation of your tree’s health, make sure to use your fingers as well as your eyes. Drag your fingers over the bark and find any areas that feel moist or soft to the touch. This is a sign that something is off, according to the University of Illinois.
This problem isn’t always a tree fungus, but it can be. It is more common to find this problem at the base of the tree or around any visible roots. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to push too hard, as you can do some serious damage to your tree.
- Symbolic of an Underlying Problem
- All Sizes and Shapes Signal Problems
- Can Destroy Structural Integrity
The most common signs of tree fungi in South Jersey are different kinds of mushrooms. Mushrooms commonly grow on the trunk and root system of the tree, which means even mushrooms that show up on the ground around your tree are cause for concern. Simply removing the mushrooms isn’t enough, you have to treat the underlying cause of the problems as well.
Even if you only see a few mushrooms, you want to call in a professional. The problem will only get worse and these fungi will spread across your yard through animal contact, grass clipping, and even the air. If you have mushrooms across your yard, this means the fungus can be in the root systems. Tree Guide has a great list of different mushrooms you may encounter.
Tree fungus is a serious problem that you cannot ignore. Even if you think it isn’t anything to worry about, it is better to be safe. If you spot anything that resembles a fungus, or you just suspect that something is wrong, make sure to call up tree care professionals that will be able to handle the situation. Eliminating the fungus doesn’t always mean eliminating the tree. In fact, most professionals will do all that they can to avoid cutting down an otherwise healthy tree.
At Bumblebee Tree Service, we strive to keep your yard safe and your trees beautiful. We will work with your yard’s chemistry to find the safest and gentlest way to remove the fungus and keep everyone and everything healthy. Our professionals will pay you a visit and help you to determine if there is a problem with your tree or if it was just a false alarm. Your trees and their safety are important to us, so this inspection can save them and add years to their lives. Give us a call at (609) 297-1721 so that one of our professionals can come inspect your tree and determine what the next steps should be.