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Common Tree Fungus Types, Causes, & Prevention Methods

Have you walked outside to admire the beauty of your landscape only to notice mushrooms, puffballs, and toadstools growing on your beloved tree?

While many types of tree fungus, such as shelf mushrooms, are relatively harmless, other kinds can be hazardous to the health of your trees.

Thankfully, the tree service experts at Green Leaf Zone are here to help. Here are the most common causes of tree fungus and actionable steps you can take to protect your trees.

Deadly Types of Tree Fungi

Fungi that can be harmful to your trees include root rot, heart rot, butt rot, oak wilt, sooty mold, apple scab disease, cedar apple rust, powdery mildew disease, and rhizosphere needle cast.

These types of fungi can be dangerous to your tree because they can break down its structural integrity, leading to the tree literally falling apart. The fungus may also impact the tree’s ability to produce food via photosynthesis, slowly killing it.

Tree fungus can present itself in many ways, including:

  • Discoloration or scabs in the bark
  • Injuries on the tree, which can allow dangerous spores to easily enter
  • Abnormal growth
  • Wilting leaves or needles
  • Dusting on parts of the tree
  • Sogginess near the trunk 
  • Leaves or needles falling off the branches during the growing season

If your tree has fungus, you do not have to worry about getting it. Tree fungus generally does NOT transmit to people. However, it’s always smart to have your trees inspected by a team of tree service experts.

If you think your tree has fungus, call the tree trimming technicians at Green Leaf Zone. We will closely inspect your tree to access the damage and give you our professional recommendations on how to best proceed.

Common Causes of Tree Fungus

Fungal spores are constantly around your trees. Since they love damp, dark areas, shady parts underneath a tree are sanctuaries for spores.

These spores can be transported to your trees via wind, contaminated gardening tools, rain splashing onto the tree, or human and animal movement. 

Tree diseases caused by fungi include four broad categories, including:

  • Canker Diseases: These diseases enter the tree through branch stubs or wounds, infecting the bark tissue and causing discoloration and sunken surfaces.
  • Foliar / Shoot Diseases: These tree illnesses are the most common and can cause small spots, large leaf blotches, and even leaves to die. Foliar and shoot diseases can lead to minor aesthetic issues or the death of the entire tree.
  • Root and Butt Rot Diseases: These diseases impact a plant’s root system and cause the roots and trunk to decay.
  • Vascular Wilts: When this fungus invades a tree’s vascular system, it can interrupt water and nutrient transportation.

While this all may seem like dire news, the good news is that trees have a natural immunity to most fungi. Just like most humans were born with a strong immune system that can fight off infections, trees can protect themselves from many dangerous fungi. However, they could always use a little help.

How You Can Prevent Tree Fungus 

It’s essential to keep your trees happy and healthy in order to prevent fungal infections. Some steps you can take to help protect your trees from fungus include: 

  • Have a tree pruning company cut off dead or dying branches to promote efficient air circulation
  • Rake up and properly dispose of all infected leaves to prevent new infections from spreading 
  • Properly fertilize and water your trees to help them stay vigorous 
  • Always ensure the tree has the correct amounts of moisture at its roots 
  • Avoid pruning in wet weather, as this could encourage the fungus to spread 
  • Don’t over-water your plants 
  • Always sanitize all of your gardening tools between usage 
  • Ensure your soil drains efficiently

Another way to protect your trees and prevent fungal infections is to apply a fungicide to your plants. Never attempt to do this by yourself. Call the specialists at Green Leaf Zone for quality tree services. We can tell you what fungicides will work best for your trees and how much to use.

How Our Tree Removal Technicians Can Help


If you think your trees are suffering from a fungal infection, call the tree service experts at Green Leaf Zone today. We will come to your home, carefully inspect the tree, and offer you advice on how to best handle the situation. While many trees can be saved from a fungal infection, some are better off being removed and replaced with new saplings.

Four reasons your infected tree should be removed include:

  • Branches are splitting or falling
  • A rotted or exposed root system
  • Visible decay
  •  The sick tree is located near your home or power lines

With over 35 years of cumulative experience, our seasoned technicians can help you efficiently care for your trees. In addition to tree trimming services, we also specialize in stump removal, stump grinding, brush clearing, and tree removal.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact Green Leaf Zone today. You can fill out a form online or call us at (818) 797-7861 for your free quote. Our lines are open 24/7. We look forward to helping you with your tree fungus problems soon!

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