What’s That Fungus?

At Lamb Tree Care, we have had many calls regarding “mushroom looking things” at the base of palm trees. This seems to be spreading across the county quickly. So… let’s get some facts.

Ganoderma Zonatum is a fungus that is affecting our Palm Trees in Sarasota & Manatee County. These little fungi looking mushrooms on the base of your tree mean the tree needs to be removed before infestation of your property. Once you see the “conk” (mushroom) present on the outside of the tree the fungus has produced enzymes that have degraded the woody tissue. This destroys the tree internally.

Tree Fungus

Tree Fungus

Tree Fungus

  • If a living palm tree is showing conks it means that a significant portion of the trunk is already decayed.
  • For Safety reason the palm should be removed prior to hurricane / storm season. The integrity of the palm is no longer in place, and will more than likely fall during high winds.
  • It is important to know that the fungus stays in the soil after the palm tree is removed and it is not advised to plant any species of palm in the same location after removal. More than likely the new palm will expire from Ganoderma. Although it could be replaced with other types of trees and plants, the strain that affects palms is not known infest other species of plants.
  • Ganoderma could be in your recently planted palm tree, with no signs of the fungus prior to a visible conk; it is impossible to know if a tree has been infected prior to transplant.
  • It is very important to remove the stump of a tree with Ganoderma. If the stump is not removed the fungi will produce millions of spores that are easily moved by the elements and will spread into other palms on your property and neighboring properties.

This information & Images have been provided by The Institute of Food and Agricultural Services.

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