Wood Decay Fungi in Landscape Trees

Landscape trees provide welcome shade, fruit, homes for wildlife, and even a place for kids to climb. But if the wood is damaged, disease-causing fungi can infect the tree. A number of fungal diseases decay wood in both tree branches and trunks, weakening and sometimes killing the tree. Wood decay can be hazardous when infected branches and trunks fall.

Wood decay usually affects older trees but with careful cultivation, you can reduce the impact of wood decay disease. You can spot fruiting bodies of a wood decay fungus, like mushrooms or conks, before you notice decayed branches or trunks. This will help you identify the fungus infecting your tree so you can correctly manage the disease.

For more information, see UC IPM's Pest Notes: Wood Decay Fungi in the Landscape, recently updated by A. James Downer, University of California Cooperative Extension Advisor, Ventura County and Edward J. Perry, UC Cooperative Extension (retired), Stanislaus County. This publication has been expanded to include three new wood decay diseases with color photographs, more information about damage and infection, plus additional management tips.