Your Tree Is Sprouting Mushrooms—Should You Have It Removed?

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Get to Know Your Local Trees

I'd always loved walking in forests and woodland areas, but I never really took the time to learn about the different species of tree — they all looked the same to me! That all changed when a relative gifted me a beautifully detailed book on local wildlife. From there, I was on a mission to learn all I could about trees, from oak to elm, beech to ash. I've set up this site to share my journey with you. Watch out for fun tree facts, tips on caring for trees on your property, and advice on tree planting and removal.


Your Tree Is Sprouting Mushrooms—Should You Have It Removed?

30 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Trees growing on your land make an attractive feature, providing year-round interest as well as a welcome habitat for wildlife. However, from time-to-time it can be necessary to have dead or diseased trees removed by your local tree-services contractor. An annual visit from the tree-services people is also important for the early identification and treatment of potential problems. One such potential problem is indicated by the appearance of mushrooms growing around the base of a tree. But what causes this, and can your tree be saved?

Identifying honey fungus

Most mushrooms are completely harmless and won't do your trees any harm. However, honey fungus can cause damage.

Honey fungus appears in the autumn, growing in yellow-brown clusters around tree roots or at the base of the trunk. The mushrooms typically have a flat top and a white ring around the stem. If you sniff the fungus, it will smell sweet, hence its name.

Honey fungus attacks many different species of trees, including:

  • oak
  • birch
  • fruit trees
  • hedging

Identifying honey-fungus damage

Honey fungus attacks the tree's roots, causing them to decay and eventually killing the tree. Trees that are under attack by honey fungus also suffer structural damage, which may lead to the tree falling down.

If you fear that one of your trees has honey fungus, call your local tree-services company, as you may have to have the affected tree removed to prevent the spread of the disease.

Preventing honey fungus

Honey fungus is encouraged by overwatering, so be careful that you don't saturate the ground around your trees when watering during the summer months. 

In addition, trees with damaged or diseased branches are prone to infestation by pests and diseases, including honey fungus; that's why it's really important to have your trees regularly inspected and pruned by an experienced tree-services company.

Honey fungus can't be treated once it becomes established in a tree, and the only way to get rid of it is to have the tree removed and burned to kill off any fungal spores and prevent their spreading. Honey fungus spreads underground too, so you'll need to make sure that all the tree roots and the stump are taken away and destroyed.

If you notice mushrooms growing around the base of any of your trees, you should ask your local tree-services company for more advice and to carry out an inspection. You may have to have one tree removed, but at least this should keep your remaining trees safe.