Let’s say, one day the homeowner goes out to their yard and they discover mushrooms growing in a ring around their oak tree. These oak tree mushrooms may look like pockmarked cushions, or they may be woody, leathery and ringed. These mushrooms are usually polypores, meaning they have pores or tubes on the underside of the fruiting body that produces spores when mature. Most lack a stalk and grow on the wood of a tree in brackets. Ironically, many of these types of oak tree mushrooms are sought after as food or have medicinal properties.

Some of them can be enormous and it’s not unheard of for some species to grow two feet across. The chicken of the woods is an example of a mushroom that can grow to great size and is prized for its taste, however can kill oak trees.  What the homeowner sees above the ground, of the oak tree mushrooms are only the fruiting or reproductive bodies of a plant whose underground structures may take up the entire yard. This structure is called the mycelium. In this case, the fruiting body has erupted around the oak hinting that the mycelium has penetrated into the root wood of the oak tree and perhaps even into the heartwood and will eventually turn it into a spongy, charcoal like mass.

mushroomsThis will eventually kill the tree.  The homeowner might then want to call a professional tree care company, like Tree Tech Tree Services Inc., to see what can be done about the oak tree mushrooms and whether their tree is in real danger. The mycelium of the oak tree mushrooms attack the tree in a way that eventually makes it unsound and the tree may topple over without much warning. If the tree is close to the house, there’s a real danger that it can fall on the house and/or electrical lines and do severe damage, make it uninhabitable or even cut power completely.

Tree services provided by an experienced, tree care company can come to the property, examine the oak and let the homeowner know if it has to be taken down before it falls, known as tree removal services. The professional tree care company will then arrange to have the tree cut down carefully and safely.  This sort of damage to oak trees can be prevented by careful mowing near the exposed roots.

If the roots of the oak tree are nicked or slashed by a lawn mower blade, it’s an invitation for fungus to attack the wound. It’s also good to keep the tree generally healthy by judicious tree pruning, tree trimming, watering and fertilizing, so to avoid spreading the mycelium and potentially full tree removal. If you think your oak tree may have oak tree mushrooms developing, please contact Tree Tech at 704-799-5796 to speak with an IS Certified Arborist as soon as possible.