5 Symptoms of Black Fungus on Trees: Is It Time for Pruning?
Black fungus, also called a black knot, is a common type of fungal disease that can attack trees. It is commonly seen on cherry and plum trees. The good news is that black fungus on trees is easier to diagnose than some people realize. Trees that are impacted by this condition may appear hard, swollen, or have black knots on the twigs and branches, which is where the name black knot came from. If this condition is not treated, the fungus will continue to grow and expand, spreading to the stem of the tree.
Spreading of Black Fungus
While it is possible for tree maintenance services to identify and treat cases of black fungus, it is also a good idea for property owners to learn more about it. The fungal disease will spread during spring as the wind moves sports from the black knot. The spore will then land on a new tree where it will germinate. The germinated spores will release a chemical that results in the tree growing additional plant cells, which causes the swollen-looking black knots. While the disease is most prevalent in wild trees, it can spread to trees on a person's property, too, if they are not monitored or maintained.
Symptoms of Black Fungus
The most visible signs that show black fungus has impacted a tree are the black knots that appear on the branches. However, there are other symptoms to know about, too.
- Branches that are infected may tilt to one side or the other.
- Wood rot may appear on the tree.
- Leaves will turn brown, wilt, and eventually fall off the affected tree.
- Black knots can produce a sticky liquid when cracked.
- Black knots can spread to the trunk in some cases.
If these symptoms are seen, it is a good idea to call a professional for help.
Can Black Fungus Kill a Tree?
If the condition is not treated, then yes, the black fungus will spread throughout the entire tree. This can lead to the tree's death. Any cases of black fungus need to be treated as a type of chronic disease because even if the tree is not killed by it, it can impact the growth.
Tips for Managing Black Fungus in Trees
One of the best ways to reduce the possibility of black fungus is to purchase resistant trees. There are several types of black fungus-resistant trees that are much less susceptible to this condition. If a person buys these trees, they will have a sure-fire way to prevent the issue from occurring.
Pruning trees is also a good way to eliminate black knot disease. The pruning process includes cutting the branches off, removing stems, and getting rid of twigs that have any signs of this disease. It is best to cut between two and four inches under the growth to remove any part that has been infected. Be sure to burn or dispose of the affected part, as this may still cause an infection in other trees.
Getting Rid of Black Fungus
When it comes to black fungus, there are several steps that can be taken to eliminate it. Be sure to keep this in mind and take the right steps to ensure a tree remains healthy, regardless of the type of its age.