Heart rot disease is a sort of fungus that destroys mature trees and creates rot in the tree’s branches and trunks. The fungus attacks then annihilate a tree’s structure. In time, this makes the tree a safety threat. The damage can at first be undetectable from the outside of the tree. However, you can identify diseased trees by the fruiting bodies on the outer part of the bark.
What is Heart Rot Disease?
All hardwood trees are predisposed to variations of fungal infections referred to as heart rot tree disease. The fungi produce the “heartwood” in the middle of these trees’ branches or trunks to decay.
The fungi producing heart rot can infect practically any tree. However, weak, stressed, and old trees are the most vulnerable.
The fungi damage the tree’s hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin, causing the tree to fall probably. At first, you might not be able to detect if your tree has heart rot because the decay is on the inside.
Though, if you can see inside the trunk due to an injury or cut to the bark, you might see a rotted spot. Some heart rot types produce fruiting bodies that appear similar to mushrooms, developing on the outside of a tree. These structures are called brackets or conks. Contact an arborist to examine your trees if you suspect they’re infected.
You can see them around the root crown or a cut in the tree bark. Some are yearly and only come out with the first rain. Others add a new layer every year.
Bacterial Heart Rot
The fungi that create heart rot tree disease are usually put into three categories: soft rot, white rot, and brown rot.
Brown rot is typically the most severe and creates the rotten wood that dries and breaks into cubes. White rot is less severe, and the rotted wood is spongy and moist.
Soft rot is due to bacteria and fungus, developing a condition known as bacterial heart rot. Bacterial heart rot advances slowly and creates the least amount of structural harm in trees. Though they do create decay in lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose in affected trees, the rot doesn’t spread far or fast.
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