In general, people think fungi produce typical, fleshy, mushroom-shaped fruiting bodies but this is not the case. There are many different kinds of wood decay fungi that can cause heart, root, and butt rot of living trees. Some fungi are annual and most active during the rainy season, but many are perennial and grow by adding a new layer each year.

What is a Conk/Bracket?

By definition, a Conk or Bracket is a shelflike, spore-bearing structure of certain wood-decaying fungi, found on stumps, logs, or living trees. Some wood decay fungi may form hard, leathery, permanent conks, while others produce soft, temporary mushrooms.

What does the Conk show us?

Whenever fungal conks are found growing out of the trunk or at the base of a tree, it is an indication that the tree is decaying inside. Infection by these wood decay fungi are almost always associated with stress to the tree and wounding.

How long will the fungi take to decay my tree?

The decay process is typically slow but by the time the conks are visible, internal decay is already extensive. Trees that are showing signs of decay are inherently weaker and can be subject to structural failure in storms or on windy days. Trees with multiple trunks are often weaker and more susceptible to internal decay.

What can be done to help my tree?

There are treatments that can slow the spread of the decay in the living tissue. Nevertheless, your tree will need to be seen by a certified arborist to assess the risk involved in keeping the tree and the effectiveness of available treatments.

Gruett provides certified arborist services in Orange County and throughout Southern California.

 

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