4 Tips For Removing Fungus-Affected Trees

Although many fungal diseases, like powdery mildew, aren't deadly to mature trees, there are some exceptions. Fungal issues like verticillium wilt will systematically kill the tree. First, a few leaves may die off, then eventually entire branches on one side of the tree will die. Over time, the rest of the tree will slowly fall victim to the fungus until the tree is dead.

1. Remove Dead Wood

Not all fungal diseases require immediate removal of the tree. If there are no other susceptible tree varieties on your property, for example, you may be able to keep the tree for a few more seasons. You will need to have the dead branches cut out annually, though. This may not slow the spread of the disease through the tree, but it does prevent dangers from falling deadwood.

2. Take Down the Tree

For highly contagious fungal diseases or trees that are too diseased to safely remain, removal is necessary. For this task, it is best to work with a tree service as they have the tools and training to safely take down dying trees without causing damage or spreading the disease. They will likely first remove the limbs to reduce the chances of accidents during removal. They will then take down the trunk in sections instead of chopping it down, as a falling trunk could spread fungal spores across a wide area.

3. Dispose of All Wood

Wood from a fungus-affected tree is not suitable for use as mulch, nor should it be composted or stored on your property. Instead, it needs to be hauled off and disposed of safely away from other trees so that the fungal spores don't have a chance to spread. If you want to keep the wood for firewood, then it needs to be tightly covered in a plastic sheet or tarp and left to cure covered for at least a year so that any remaining fungal spores die off.

4. Sanitize the Tools

Any tools or equipment used to tend to the tree or to remove it must be thoroughly sanitized, otherwise, the fungal spores could spread to healthy trees next time the tools are used. A tree service always disinfects their tools, but you will need to disinfect any of your own tools that you used tending to the tree. This is as simple as wiping them down with bleach or rubbing alcohol.

Contact a tree removal service if you need help with taking down fungus-affected trees.