Armillaria root rot or honey mushroom fungus on a tree in Edmonton

Everything You Should Know About Root Rot

If you strive to maintain a beautiful yard and are interested in tree care, it’s a good idea to learn a bit more about the kinds of hostile animals and plants in your area.

For example, we at All Season Tree Service would like everyone in Edmonton to know about the dangers of root rot. With a little bit of information you can prevent root rot from settling in in your yard.


What is root rot?
A lot of different sicknesses go by the name of “root rot” but, generally, it refers to fungi that attack the roots of your trees and other plants, starving them of water and nutrients until the host plant dies. Perhaps the most common and destructive example of root rot is Armillaria root rot that is caused by a fungus commonly known as the honey mushroom. This fungus attacks all sorts of trees native to Canada, including the birch, jack pine, and maple.

Different species of fungus prefer to feed off of different kinds of plants and cause varying kinds of damage (some fungi can even live symbiotically with their host plants). When a honey mushroom attacks a tree, its caps can be found at the base of the trunk. If you see these caps, you can be sure that the fungus is thriving below ground, flourishing within the roots of the tree.


Because some kinds of root rot don’t have external symptoms, it can be hard to identify. You should regularly inspect your trees for signs of fungal growth or general distress that may signal a more fundamental problem with its roots. Yellowing or browning leaves and a general thinning of the foliage are signs that something is wrong with the tree’s ability to feed itself.


What can I do to protect my plants from root rot?
As you might have guessed, once root rot has taken hold, it’s tough to get it out. A homeowner’s best bet is to prevent it from occurring in the first place and, if it does strike, to contain it as much as possible. Fungi thrive on moisture, so be sure to not overwater your plants. Alternatively, there are fungicides you can purchase to protect your plants from fungal growth.


The most important thing for homeowners to arm themselves with when it comes to root rot is information about preventive tree care. If you’d like to know more about root rot or other ways to protect your trees from illness, contact us at All Season Tree Service in Edmonton. Our arborists are trained in identifying and treating sick trees. We love trees and are ready to help.

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