Coneflower
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:23 am
Location: Minnesota

What's this fungus Among us

I have two flowering crab apple trees that were in my yard when I moved here. The past couple years they haven't been looking well and have a fungus on some of the branches. Is this fungus because the branches are old and dying - or are the branches dying because of the fungus?

I've debated cutting them down, but they are so pretty in the spring I really hate to do that.

Here is a picture of one of the trees and the fungus underneath an ailing branch:

[url=http://img299.imageshack.us/my.php?image=crabapplefungusau9.jpg][img]http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/5706/crabapplefungusau9.th.jpg[/img][/url]

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Is there any live tissue on that branch beyond what we can see in the photo?
Part of the problem may be egregiously bad pruning. The two stub cuts that are visible provide an easy access point for decay organisms. If you are in the Minneapolis metro area I can can refer you to some of the better arborists in that area but without actually seeing the tree I can't provide informed advice on whether or not hiring an arborist is likely to be cost effective. At a minimum your tree needs some skilled pruning, not just some hack with a saw and a pickup, but if the decay is widespread you maybe better off simply having the tree removed.

Coneflower
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:23 am
Location: Minnesota

Ugh, it's rather widespread and probably not worth hiring anyone. :(

I'll go have a closer look at both of them today. I'd hate to lose both, but they've both been going downhill.

dorothydot
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:12 pm
Location: Southern Maryland

On trees, once fungus appears on a limb, that part of the limb from the fungus to the tip is either dead or dying. The fungus is able to grow because the branch is too weak to resist it.

Once fungus appears on the trunk, the tree is likely dying. If only on one side of the trunk, you may be able to save the tree, although that side of the tree will not be very vigorous. This often happens with girdling roots and/or lawnmower-itis.

If you truly want to save the tree, consider deep-root fertilization [but wait till the tree goes dormant].

Coneflower
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:23 am
Location: Minnesota

Okay. what exactly is deep root fertilization and how do I go about doing it if I go that direction?

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Deep root fertilization uses a hollow probe or an auger to create apply fertilizer at depths ranging from 6" to a couple feet. This practice is somewhat controversial for a number of reasons. Personally, I haven't seen any scientific literature that really supports this practice, especially in the absence of an identified nutrient deficiency, but my knowledge is not encyclopedic - there may be some good research out there somewhere.

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