Types of Oak Tree Fungus

Types of Oak Tree Fungus

Oak tree fungus can appear and grow in warm, humid summers. The fungus then infiltrates into the wood of oak trees and steals its vital nutrients, which help trees flourish. Read the Buzzle article to find out about what tree fungus is, how are the trees infected, and what these fungi look like.
Tree fungus is the main and very common cause of tree death. No matter which tree it may be, once the fungi infects it, the tree would eventually wilt and die (if precautions or treatments are not followed soon). The growth of fungi begins from microscopic spores which spread through air, rainwater and dead leaves. If the fungus can be spotted soon on a tree, in some cases, it can be treated properly. Each tree fungus has various signs, so for the purpose of this article, we will only focus on different types of fungi.

The species of fungi which thrive on common oak trees are numerous. The large proportion of fungi, either do little injury or can appear only on dead tree parts such as on the bark or wood of dead branches, leaves and acorns. Fungi is also sometimes known as toadstools, dwarf benches, mushrooms and puffballs. Any fungi, if gone unnoticed or untreated, has the capacity to fatally affect its health. Before when there wasn't enough information and research, they were thought as a group of plants which lack chlorophyll. However, today fungi is classed as a separate kingdom of living organisms. When a spore germinates on a vulnerable host, with help of permitting ecological weather conditions, diseases can be caused. It produces hyphae, which are strands of fungal tissue that enter and feed on the host (tree). Now that you understand what these fungi can do, let's take a closer look.

Commonly-found Fungi

According to "The Flora of California", an oak can take about 100 years to grow into a mature tree. However, it takes every growing thing in the oak around 200 years to kill it. Till the time an oak stands on its own, it will provide a safe habitat for many plants and animals. However, oaks are highly prone to developing various fungal infections. It is essential to understand what type of fungi is potentially dangerous for them. The fungi which have been found on various species are as follows.

The following information provides description of basidiomata (fruiting bodies) and the type of decay produced. They cause root and butt rot of oak trees. As fungus is a cause of infectious diseases in trees, they can turn any healthy, strong tree to become weak and damage from the inside.

Armillaria spp.
Armillaria Oak Tree Fungus

Type of rot - White, yellowish-brown (stringy)
Description - A brown wood decay fungus (mushroom) grown in clusters along with a ring on the stem.

Inonotus dryophilus

Type of rot - White
Description - Brown to reddish-brown in color, grows 3 to 6 feet up the tree trunk.

Ganoderma lucidum
Ganoderma Lucidum Oak Tree Fungus

Type of rot - White
Description - A beautiful orangish-maroon mushroom, has hard, sealed top with or without stem.

Inonotus dryadeus (Polyporus dryadeus)
Inonotus Dryadeus Oak Tree Fungus

Type of rot - White
Description - Formation of large, creamy top which becomes brown, bumpy, cracked in age, thick margin and round. Found at base of living oaks or recent stumps.

Grifola frondosa
Grifola Frondosa Oak Tree Fungus

Type of rot - White
Description - A large, multi-branched polypore mushroom which grows in clusters at base of trees. It has gray, fibrous top.

Laetiporus sulphureus (Polyporus sulphureus)

Type of rot - Brown cube-shaped
Description - A species of bracket fungus that grows on tree trunks and branches. Has golden-yellow shelf-like structure; undersurface body has tube-like pores.

Bondarzewia berkeleyi (Polyporus berkeleyi)

Type of rot - Stringy white
Description - Creamy white to yellowish surface, appears maze-like, edible when young, gets bitter with age. Grows at base of oaks, around decaying stumps or from buried roots.

Meripilus sumstinei (Polyporus giganteus)

Type of rot - White
Description - Forms large, dense clusters on ground, around stumps and living trees. Wrinkled, fine hair, has bruising black pores 4―7 per mm.

Out of the mentioned fungi in the table, Inonotus dryadeus is one of the most common wood decay species. One way to rid of the fungi is to use various fungicides made specifically for these types of fungus. The best method to protect and prevent the fungi is to take necessary precautions beforehand. You should always make sure that your trees are planted in well-drained areas with no damp swampy locations. Fungus usually gets attracted to such areas. While mowing the lawn, take utmost care of not injuring the tree, as even a small nick can become problematic. Apply antifungal spray or sealer if there are any nicks on the trees. Remember, preventing fungi is much easier and cheaper than treating the diseased tree later on.