Mushrooms Growing Around Trees: Identification & Treatment

Ganoderma applanatum mushroom 2

Ganoderma applanatum mushroom

In the past week or so we’ve noticed lots of mushrooms growing around trees and in homeowners’ yards. This increase in mushrooms can be blamed on the rainy past few weeks. When you have mushrooms growing in your yard or at the base of your tree it can be worrisome. Mushrooms can be a sign of root rot, heart rot, and overall decay.  When these conditions are left untreated it can cause your tree to uproot or snap and come crashing down on your property.

Although not all mushrooms are bad, it’s important to be able to recognize mushrooms that are signs of decay.

Where Are You Mushrooms Located?

Mushrooms located throughout your yard far away from the trunk of your tree are typically no cause for concern. If you have mushrooms located at the base of your tree it is more likely to be a problem. Mushrooms growing at the base of a tree are a likely indicator of advanced interior decay.


What Do Your Mushrooms Look Like?

honey fungus

Honey Fungus (Armillaria Spp.): Sign of Root Rot

Honey fungus is a particularly dangerous mushroom that grows near a tree’s roots. This mushroom is a sign of Armillaria root rot. Mushrooms are yellowish-brown and grow in clusters around the base of your tree or tree’s roots. Look for a distinct white ring around the mushroom’s stems.

Susceptible Trees: Oak, birch, fruit trees, and hedge plants are most commonly infected but a wide range of trees and shrubs are susceptible.

 


chicken of the woods fungus

Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus): Sign of Heart Rot

This mushroom is a sign of brown heart rot. Generally entering trees through bark wounds and dead branch stubs, this fungus will destabilize your tree by hollowing out the center. Trees with chicken of the woods will be brittle and likely to snap. Look for yellow to bright orange fan-shaped mushrooms growing in overlapping tiers.

Susceptible Trees: Acacia, ash, beech, birch, cherry, chestnut, elm, eucalyptus, fir, hackberry, black locust, honey locust, maple, oak, Virginia pine, poplar, spruce, tulip, walnut, and yew.

 


Ganoderma Spp: Sign of Root Rot & Trunk Rot

This fungus invades through tree wounds causing extensive decay of roots and trunk. Trees infected will typically die within 3-5 years; however, infected oaks and maples will experience rapid decay. Look for semi-circular mushrooms growing around the base of your tree. Depending on the species these mushrooms will either be brown on top and white underneath or red-brown with varnish-like crust.

Susceptible Trees: Acacia, alder, apple, ash, birch, boxwood, cherry, citrus, elm, eucalyptus, fir, hackberry, black locust, honey locust, magnolia, maple, mulberry, oak, peach, pine, poplar, redbud, spruce, sweet gum, sycamore, tulip, and willow.

Ganoderma lucidum mushroomGanoderma applanatum mushroom

Have Mushrooms Growing On/Around Your Tree?

Or Call 703.573.3029


Tree Mushroom/Fungus Treatment:

Once infected with a tree fungus your tree or shrub can never be fully cured. However; it can be treated. Our arborist will recommend a plan to suppress the tree fungus. This will stop the disease from getting worse and to restore your tree’s health and vigor.

If the fungus is too far developed, the arborist may recommend removing the tree/shrub and replacing it with a fungi resistant species.

Prevent Mushrooms and Fungi:

Prevention is key when it comes to fungus. Avoid practices that promote fungal growth.

  • Don’t over water
  • Make sure your soil drains properly
  • Boost overall health with proper maintenance
  • Sanitize gardening tools between plants
  • Rake and remove falling leaves from your yard
  • Use preventative fungicides

If you already have mushrooms growing on your tree it’s best to have an arborist come identify it. An arborist will be able to let you know if the fungus is harmful and be able to recommend appropriate treatments. Book an appointment with one of our arborists online or call 703.573.3029.

 

16 thoughts on “Mushrooms Growing Around Trees: Identification & Treatment”

  1. I had mentioned to Ben, that I have a large fungus growing at the base of a huge oak in my back yard. He suggested that it be treated this year and I totally forgot, until I saw this message from you. Please have Ben come out and identify the fungus and treat my tree. Thank you, Brenda

  2. Elizabeth Dixon says:

    Last summer we had a dying silver maple removed. Mushrooms are coming up on the tree roots spread across the yard. Looks like may be honey fungus. Is this dangerous to people? Last fall I planted a white crape myrtle tree. The mushrooms are within about 2 feet of the crape myrtle. Will this hurt the crape? I am actually thinking of digging around roots and then sawing them in half to pull up out of ground in certain areas because the lawn looks bad since the shade from the tree is gone the grass is dying because of shallow roots where the large tree roots are. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your expertise!

    Elizabeth

    1. Rtectree says:

      Elizabeth,
      We can’t speak to the mushroom’s toxicity when it comes to humans. As for your Crape Mytle, if it’s root rot you will typically see the mushrooms at the base of your tree not 2 feet away. We do not recommend digging up or cutting the roots of a tree! Cutting the roots of your Crape Myrtle will greatly affect its health and can lead to the tree’s death. Check out our article on exposed tree roots to see what causes them and what you can do to manage them. https://rtectreecare.com/exposed-tree-roots/

  3. Susan says:

    We had a honey locust tree in our yard removed 2 years ago. We had the stump ground down and had the yard repaired. Just this year we are experiencing mushrooms , some small white caps, some large, some mushroom roots like rock hard. I just dig up the roots and patch, but this has been a big job because the more rain, the more mushrooms. What is a great fungicide that’s pet friendly? Thank you

    1. Rtectree says:

      Hi, Susan. Thank you for your question! I would advise contacting your local landscape supply company to see what options you might be able to find. We are a service provider so we do not sell any products. Most of the products we use cannot be purchased by the public as their use requires a licensed applicator. Many landscape supply companies carry organic and naturally-derived products, however, which may be good options for your pets!

  4. Brenda Johnson says:

    Hi, there. We have a huge, nearly 50-year-old fruitless mulberry with a fungus problem which has killed a couple large branches of the tree and a large area of roots at the bottom. Clusters of beige cone-headed mushrooms are growing at the base of the tree. Any idea how much longer this tree will survive, and is there anything we can do to extend its life? Thank you so much!

    1. Rtectree says:

      Hi Brenda, thank you for your comment. If you haven’t already it would be best if you schedule an appointment with one of our Certified Arborists. They will need to look at the tree to diagnose any issues or give a treatment plan. Just schedule an appointment by calling 703-573-3029 or clicking the “Meet With An Arborist” button on the top of this webpage.

      -Samantha H.

  5. Bruce Woolf says:

    I have an ash tree that is about 80 feet tall. Today I pick about 20 to 25 ground mushrooms, We always get a few of these this year seems worse. Is this a sign of a bigger problem.Thanks

    1. Rtectree says:

      Bruce,

      Depending on the type of mushroom it could be an issue. Without seeing it in person we are unable to give an answer to that question. One thing that caught my eye was that you’re having this issue on an ash tree. Has your ash tree been treated for Emerald Ash Borers? If not, these mushrooms may be a sign that there is internal decay from Emerald Ash Borers. If your tree has not been treated it’s very likely that it will be infested with Emerald Ash Borers and need to be removed. You can learn more about this insect here: https://rtectreecare.com/emerald-ash-borer/. I’d suggest scheduling an appointment with one of our certified arborists to get to the root of the issue. Give us a call at 703-573-3029 to schedule an appointment.

      -Samantha H.

  6. Angela Waterford says:

    I never knew that mushrooms that are located on the base of my tree could mean that it’s sick. If this is the case, I think I should have it removed by a professional before things get worse. This way, I’ll be sure that my home will be safe from harm.

  7. Harry Johnston OBE says:

    We have red and white capped mushrooms around the base of our weeping willow tree which is between 25/30 years old as this seems in tree terms an “old tree” is it at end of life and this fungus is the last part of its journey?

    1. Rtectree says:

      Thank you for your inquiry, Mr. Johnston. As certain mushrooms can disrupt the root system, the fungus may indeed affect the livelihood of the tree; this potential negative impact, however, depends on the type of mushrooms they are. Therefore, the first step is identification. If you’re in our service area, we suggest speaking about the issue more in-depth with one of our Certified Arborists. After calling our office, if you would like to you can send us photos of the situation and we can send them over to our Arborists for their expert opinion. Afterward, they will be able to apply treatments if necessary. And if you’re interested in proactive care for your older weeping willow, you can inquire about our Older Tree Care Package which will keep your tree at its optimal health before any problems strike in the future.

      Read here for more information on the importance of proactive care for older trees.

      To schedule an appointment with one of our Certified Arborists, you can call us at 703-573-3029 or click the “Meet With An Arborist” button on the top of this webpage.
      If you happen to be out of our service area, we encourage you to find a Certified Arborist who services your zip code by searching on https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist.

      Thank you!

  8. Bonnir says:

    Hi, we have an evergreen type tree that has mushrooms growing along the roots that spread out into the yard, but not at the base. There are a few different types of mushrooms, I think, and there are a lot of them
    Do I need to be concerned?

    1. Rtectree says:

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      According to our Certified Arborist, it is likely what you are seeing is a fungus that may have emerged from a variety of reasons. It may have emerged from either dead or declining tree roots, old decaying stump, root remnants from a past tree, or from mulch. He suspects there was not a specific pest or pathogen that led to what you’re seeing now.

      We suggest contacting a Consulting Arborist to identify the fungal organism. If you are seeing symptoms in your tree – if it’s large, declining, and/or a safety concern – we suggest looking for a tree risk assessment as well. Alternatively, you can send us photos of the tree, mushrooms, and surrounding area, to see if we can provide a service for you and assist you further. If you are in our service area, we recommend Consulting Arborist Keith Pitchford of Pitchford Associates, who is based out of DC. For more information on him, you can visit PitchfordTrees.com.

      Thank you!

  9. John in Surrey says:

    Hello – Our mature silver birch (about 25ft high, 30+ years old) all of a sudden stopped growing in late spring. The leaves were in partial development, and everything stopped and eventually went brown. Ever hopeful it was in shock for some reason we decided to wait until this coming spring to see if it has truly died (sad). Now, a few weeks ago, a large number of previously unseen mushrooms have grown in big clumps across the lawn following what little I can see of the tree roots. From what I have been reading about mushroom growth on this post, does that mean the roots are decaying and indeed the tree is no more ? Thanks

    1. Rtectree says:

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, according to our Certified Arborist, you’re looking at a dead birch tree with saprophytic wood decay fungi mushrooms caused by root system degradation. If you would like additional help in finding the agent of the tree mortality or would like a definite determination on the state of your tree, we recommend meeting with a Consulting Arborist. If you are in our DC Metro service area, we recommend Consulting Arborist Keith Pitchford of Pitchford Associates who is serviced right outside of DC. For more information on him, you can visit PitchfordTrees.com.

      Thank you again for reaching out to us!

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