Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
There is a tree in my backyard near my house that has some kind of fungus growing on it; do I need to be concerned?
What you see on your tree is called "Bracket" or "Shelf" fungus (for obvious
reasons). Unfortunately, when you see this growing on your trees, a significant
amount of damage has already occurred to the tree and there is nothing you can do
Bracket fungus will exist in a tree long before the actual brackets or shelves
appear – these are actually the fruiting bodies of the fungus. The fungus attacks the
hardwood interior and causes structural damage in the tree. Generally, the fungus
shows up in old, weak trees. Even strong trees can be attacked, though strong trees
have a natural chemical defense system that will compartmentalize the fungus and
prolong the life of the tree. Once the fungus
is present, there is nothing that can be done.
Removing the brackets from the tree will do no
good. If you apply tree wound paint, you will do
more harm than good.
Bracket fungus has been around forever.
Most are inedible and some are poisonous.
Incredibly, there are reports of a single bracket
fungus that weighed over 300lbs and some
that were 3 feet wide! Basically, when you see
bracket fungus, it is part of Mother Nature's
process to decay trees and return them to the
soil so others can grow. You do need to be
vigilant, however, if this fungus is on a tree near
your house (or anywhere else that is dangerous
if the tree falls) the tree is in a weakened state
and is a risk. Call us right away; one of our
arborists can come out for an inspection and
give you an estimate for removal.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.