How to Identify & Treat Tree Fungus

Regardless of how sturdy trees seem, they can be susceptible to issues just like any other living thing. A lot of trees can be infected with fungus that rots their bark and hurts their growth. It's worth keeping an eye out for signs of fungus and rot, especially if a lot of effort is put into taking care of those particular trees.

Beautiful beech tree taken directly from below with nice and old trunk during springtime with beautiful green colors in the Montseny nature reserve in the Catalonia region.
credit: Artur Debat/Moment/GettyImages
How to Identify & Treat Tree Fungus

Signs of Fungus

There are several types of fungus that can be found on different trees. The main signs are rot on the truck of the tree, which can mess up its structural integrity. Thin trees with rot are likely to fall apart. Other symptoms of fungal infection include sunken areas on parts of the tree's bark and discoloration on the bark.

Another sign to watch out for is when a tree is wilting despite the fact that it has been watered and fertilized correctly. You may see a strange blueish mildew-like color that appears all over the leaves, as well as spots on the leaves that are wilting.

Ways to Treat Tree Fungus

One homemade remedy to treat tree fungus uses baking soda. A solution can be made with a gallon of water, a tablespoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of soap. It works best if the soap isn't harsh because that could hurt the tree. Once the mixture is combined, it should be sprayed right away on parts of the tree bark that may be infected or may be susceptible to future infection.

There are also commercial sprays that can be used on the trunk, the leaves and roots of an infected tree. These products are best used at the first signs of an infection and sprayed directly into some of the discoloration that's found on the affected tree. This may help prevent the infection from spreading further and may help save the tree. However, if a bark is fully rotted through and if the fungus has spread throughout its entire internal system, the tree will not be able to take in water or sprays.

Fungus Prevention Tips

It isn't possible to completely avoid tree fungus, especially if nearby plants have been infected, but there are ways to help stave some fungi away.

There are a number of commercial sprays that are sold at home improvement or gardening stores that help prevent infections. It's recommended that they are used whenever there is very humid weather because moisture and humidity can lead to a variety of fungal infections in trees. If a tree requires being fertilized, there are fertilizers on the market that can also help with fungus prevention.