What’s wrong with my trees? Heart rot disease

Heart rot is a fungal wood decay disease

Heart rot disease is a fungal, wood decay, disease that can be caused by different fungi that enters the tree through open wounds or exposed inner bark. This is typically found in older trees.

Signs and symptoms of heart rot disease

example of fungi on tree
Paul A. Mistretta, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Detecting heart rot can be challenging since the decay occurs internally. But the presence of mushrooms and a tree experiencing tip dieback in the canopy can be a sign. The heartwood of trees is very important for its strength and support. When that integrity is compromised, the tree can experience leaning, splitting, or hanging branches. An inspection from an ISA Certified Arborist from Hansen’s Tree Service can help determine what the issue is and how it can be resolved.

Managing and treating heart rot disease

If your tree is experiencing heart rot, the best option may be to remove the tree. Heartwood cannot grow back as there are no living cells: it’s composed of compressed and dead xylem tissue. If you see or suspect decay in your trees, contact a professional ISA Certified Arborist right away. They will inspect your tree and provide you with a variety of options as per the care of your tree.

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