November 2018


Tree fungus can be a dangerous disease that can affect the health of your trees.  To protect your trees, it’s important to know what type of fungus is growing on your tree so that you can properly diagnose your tree.  Here are some of the most common tree fungi to watch out for on your trees.

  1. Oak wilt.  Oak wilt is one of the worst fungi to attach to your tree.  Oak wilt attacks red and live oaks. A good sign that your oak may be affected by oak wilt is if you notice the leaves turning brown and dropping.  Oak wilt spreads through the roots, and can be carried by beetles that feed on the tree.
  2. Armillaria.  Armillaria can cause tree leaves to wilt and turn yellow.  The wood becomes spongy and it’s common to see mushrooms growing along the base of the tree.  Keep mulch away from the base of the tree will help your tree avoid growing armillaria.
  3. Ganoderma.  Elms, oaks, and ash trees can grow this type of fungi along its roots and lower trunk.  Leaves may begin to yellow or grow smaller than normal. Ganoderma is contracted through spores landing in open wounds in the tree.  If you have a tree infected with ganoderma, removal of the tree is vital for the survival of your other trees.
  4. Hypoxylon cankers.  Drought increases the likelyhood of your tree contracting these cankers.  Pecan trees can develop this disease, and once infected, the trees can die very quickly.
  5. Leaf spots.  Leaf spots are a very common fungus that affects trees in Texas, especially during the rainy season.  Leaf spots do not cause any great damage to the tree, they just don’t look great.

If you suspect that one or more of your trees is suffering from any type of tree fungus, it’s best to call a professional arborist to come out and diagnose your trees.


Girdling roots are when a tree’s roots wrap around themselves and cut off the water and nutrients a tree gets.  Root girdling is common, and can kill your tree. Although it is common, it is not natural, as girdling is caused by environmental issues in urban settings.

The most common cause of root girdling is improper planting or transplanting of the tree.  Trees that spend too much time in pots can get girdling roots. The roots keep growing but have nowhere else to grow, so they wrap around themselves.  This can also happen when a tree is planted in a hole that’s too small.

It’s important to keep this in mind when planting a tree too close to foundation or a sidewalk, as this can also impede the roots from growing naturally.  Leaving pieces of the container in which the tree was grown in can also affect the growth of the roots later on down the line.

You can tell if your tree has girdled roots by checking the trunk for an abnormal flare.  Normal trees have trunks that flare from the ground, but trunks with girdled roots have skinny trunks.  The leaves will also show signs of distress, such as early leaf drop and canopy dieback.

Prevent a tree from getting girdling roots by digging a large enough hole for the roots to grow.  The hole should be about three times as large as the root ball. Do not put mulch right up against the trunk.  If the root ball is encircled around itself, make sure to break the root ball up before planting it.

If you think your tree may be suffering from girdled roots, contact a professional arborist.