Mushroom parasites on trees - prevention and control measures


When we pronounce the word "mushroom", we usually imagine a sunny forest and mushroom pickers with baskets ... Or cooked mushrooms, honey mushrooms on our plate ... Beauty! But there are other mushrooms - monster mushrooms, parasite mushrooms. They, like real predators, attack our trees and destroy them. These are very dangerous and insidious creatures that slowly and quietly destroy our gardens. What to do if mushrooms are found on trees? Why they grew up, what happen and how to prevent their appearance, we will tell in the article.

Mushroom parasites on trees - prevention and control measures


Why do mushrooms grow on trees?

A nutrient medium for parasitic fungi, and there are more than 10 thousand species of them, can be any plant, but we will talk about trees. For the possible growth of parasite fungi on trees, a basic condition is a donor plant, whose vital activity provides nutrition for the fungus.

Damage to the bark of a tree, open wounds - it is always a risk for infection of a tree with spores of fungi. They can be elementary cracks - frost holes, which often form during severe frosts. Cracks in the bark of trees can also appear with sharp changes in temperature, with burns of the bark in early spring.

In very severe winters, exfoliation of bark sites, cracks between branches and the trunk, breakage of branches occur. Poor processing of the saw cut of the trunk or branches, various other injuries are also risk factors for infection.

Parasitic fungi are dangerous, first of all, by their secrecy. The tiny spores of the mushrooms, in contact with the damaged surface of the bark, attach there, form a mycelium and grow to the tree. The mycelium grows, penetrating deep into the wood, slowly destroying its structure, making it loose and rotten.

It is impossible to detect infection of the tree at the initial stage, since the mycelium develops inside the tree over several years. And only after the appearance of the fruiting bodies of the parasite fungus on the surface of the bark, when a significant part of the tree has already been destroyed, we can begin treatment and try to extend the life of our pet.

False tinder fungus (Phellinus igniarius). Sulfur yellow tinder (Laetiporus sulphureus).

What are the parasite mushrooms on the trees?

Parasite fungi are classified depending on the choice of the host plant on which they parasitize, as well as on the method of their reproduction. Mushrooms growing on the bark of trees can be assigned to different morphological categories. Depending on their specialization, parasite fungi are divided into two types: obligate with a limited choice of the host and optional, the choice of the host for which there is no restriction.

Mushrooms that destroy wood are called xylotrophic. Xylotrophs secrete special enzymes that alter the structure of wood, mushrooms feed on it and thus take vital nutrients from the tree.

Most species of wood mushrooms have a wide, flat hat without a leg or with a very small leg, and the body of the mushroom is often dense and stiff. Some types of tree fungi can be very difficult to separate from the tree on which they parasitize.

The most common parasitic mushrooms: ergot, rust mushroom, smut, botritis. The most common fungi parasitizing on fruit trees are tinder fungi. These are perennial wood parasites, which number more than 100 species, they look completely different, can be of different sizes and colors.

Tinder fungi are hat-legged (sessile) mushrooms, most often having the shape of a hoof and the structure of the fungus-growth, usually very solid. Basically, the fruit bodies of the tinder fungus grow along the tree trunk, located in height above each other, however, they can also settle on the branches and roots of trees.

On the underside of the cap of the mushroom body in small tubes are spores. Spores ripen by the month of August and, if mushroom caps are not removed on time, then wind, insects, rain will carry dangerous particles throughout the garden.

Trees infected with tinder fungus become weak over time, hollows appear in their trunks, branches easily break, the life span of such a tree decreases sharply. In places of destruction of wood, rot forms, it is divided into white and brown. If the mycelium grows into the wood, it is already impossible to stop its growth. Infected trees will sooner or later inevitably die.

Pipers are found throughout Russia and neighboring countries, they are not afraid of any natural disasters, as they live inside the trunks. Young trees are less susceptible to infection by parasites, they have more vitality and they quickly heal bark damage.

Flat tinder fungus (Ganoderma applanatum).

Varieties of tinder fungus

Different types of tinder fungus are preferred by different owners. For example, on stone fruits and pear more often appears false tinder (Phellinus igniarius). The fruiting body of the fungus is perennial; it grows in size annually. The color of the upper part is yellow-brown, grayish-black, matte, with the edges of a lighter shade. The appearance of black veins in wood and white core rot indicates infection of the tree.

On plum, bird cherry, hawthorn, sometimes on an apple tree or pear appears plum red tinder fungus (Phellinus tuberculosus). With such a defeat of the tree, its trunk and branches dry quickly. The fruit body of the fungus is hoof-shaped, the velvety upper part is covered with a smooth crust with a rusty edging. Infected wood becomes yellow with brown stripes, rot spreads throughout the trunk, capturing the roots of the plant.

Old deciduous trees loves flat tinder fungus (Ganoderma applanatum) Usually it appears on the roots or root zone of a tree, then white or slightly yellowish rot creeps up, eating the core. The upper surface of the perennial fruiting body is whitish-brown or rusty-brown in color with grooves and wavy edges. Hats are flat, located next to each other.

Also settles on weakened fruit trees real tinder (Fomes fomentarius). The wood of an infected tree with white or light yellow rot is stratified, starting from the core, along the annual rings. The old mushroom grows to very large sizes, it looks like a hoof of a pale gray color with grooves and light yellow edges.

Sulfur yellow tinder (Laetiporus sulphureus) prefers sweet cherry. It forms brown core rot, which quickly spreads through the wood. The fruiting bodies are annuals, unite like tiles. Their watery fleshy fabric with a wavy surface of light yellow color, hardening, becomes brittle.

Annual mushroom bodies flake tinder (Cerioporus squamosus) choose a pear. They have a small leg, a semicircular shape and a flat top. These mushrooms are located not high above the ground in groups. Their color changes from light yellow to brown, with dark brown scales arranged fan-shaped.

Plum red tinder (Phellinus tuberculosus).

Prevention against the appearance of parasitic fungi in trees

Parasitic mushrooms pose a real danger to any garden. However, do not immediately resort to radical measures and destroy the tree at the first sign of infection. There is always the opportunity to extend the life of the tree.

Of course, it’s easier to prevent the disease than to fight it later. Therefore, we will focus first on preventive measures. A strong tree is less susceptible to all kinds of problems, which means that trees need to be fed, watered, and taken care of in time as expected, removing dried branches, exfoliated and flaky bark.

About the features of whitewashing trees before winter, read our article.

To remove the old scaly bark before winter whitewashing, you need a wooden stick, so as not to damage the trunk. Particular attention should be paid to the junction of large branches with the trunk.

Saws, cracks, places of broken branches must be processed immediately as they appear. To do this, you can use 3 percent copper sulfate and garden var.

The bark of trees must be protected from various damage, taking into account your climatic zone, the possibility of a sharp temperature drop, severe frost or the possibility of damage to trees by rodents.

In the form of prevention, when there are no leaves on the branches, you can spray the tree with a 5 percent solution of iron sulfate.

Real tinder fungus (Fomes fomentarius).
onnola Scaly tinder fungus (Cerioporus squamosus).

What to do if a tinder fungus is found on a tree?

If, in spite of all efforts, the tinder fungus nevertheless appears on a tree in your garden, you must immediately take action. The very appearance of the fruit body of the tinder fungus means that the mycelium has already affected at least half of the trunk. A healthy, strong tree will last five or six years, then it will die anyway. Therefore, our task is, firstly, to extend the fruitful period of the tree, and secondly, to make every effort so that other trees do not become infected.

Inspect the trees no later than the month of July, as in August spore maturation begins. To begin with, immediately, as soon as you find mushroom bodies, you need to cut them together with a rotten bark with a sharp garden knife, after laying an oilcloth or dense fabric under the tree so that the cut material does not fall to the ground.

The resulting wounds should be cleaned to stronger wood. After that, you need to collect and burn everything. Only after thorough cleaning can you begin to do a reorganization.

It is also necessary to pay attention to the degree and place of infection. If the tinder fungus appeared on the stem, then such a tree will last no more than three years. In this case, it is better to cut the trunk to the base, peel it, thoroughly grease with three percent copper sulfate (30 grams per 1 liter of water), dry and cement.

If the mushroom appears on a branch, the branch will have to be cut below the tinder fungus exit level. If rot is visible on the cut knot, this means that the defeat has gone down. Such a large branch, or an overgrown trunk, is removed to the base "on the ring."

The usual treatment regimen for a small cut area looks like this: they cleaned out rotten wood, treated with a strong three to four percent solution of copper sulfate, dried it well and covered it with garden varnish.

The problem is that in a couple of years the garden var is destroyed, and the fungal disease can manifest itself even more.

I suggest trying a slightly different method of treating the affected area. After stripping, we will use a strong solution of the drug called "Fitop Flora-S". This is a microbiological biological product that fights pathogenic microflora, strengthens the plant and increases its resistance to all types of rot.

We dilute 10 g of biological product per 1 liter of water and soak all infected parts of the tree to the maximum possible depth. We also coat the nearby bark, branches and trunk, coat the places of previously sawn branches, cracks, trunk connections and all the alleged places where parasitic fungi appear.

After processing the wood with the Fitopa solution, let it dry well for up to two days. Then we wash the entire bark with a concentrated three-percent solution of copper sulfate, applying it with a brush or spray.

Instead of copper sulphate, you can use a soda solution: dilute 100 g of soda in 8 liters of hot water, soaking it with all the bark after preliminary cleaning. Leave the tree to dry for another couple of days, and then make a whitewash with the addition of pesticides.

It is very good to gloss over affected and potentially dangerous places with RanNet paste. This putty paste is designed to heal wounds, disinfect and protect open cracks and cuts.

Large sections and lesions are protected by cementitious putty: cement with sand 1: 1 on a solution of copper sulfate. Or so: after preliminary cleaning and treatment, cover with a clay and mullein mash in a ratio of 1: 1.

After treatment, it is necessary to control diseased trees at least twice a year - in spring and late summer. Then even an infected tree will delight you with its fruits for more than 10 years.

Love your garden. Take care of him. And then he will reciprocate.