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.


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Samantha Huff

Samantha Huff is the marketing coordinator at RTEC Treecare. She enjoys learning about the technical aspects of trees and the insects and diseases that prey on them. She hopes that these articles can help homeowners gain control of their tree and shrub maintenance by being aware of the signs and symptoms of unhealthy trees.

5 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!


    1. Rtectree says:

      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.

  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!

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