Basics Behind Root Rot

rootrotRoot rot is a common disease that can affect your trees if they’re not drained properly. Root rot thrives on moisture. It happens more often to trees that are older or have sustained a root or basal injury. Trees with this disease are less likely to tolerate extreme weather conditions like drought, long periods of rain and high temperatures.

A tree with root rot usually has a combination of identifying factors such as:

  • Crown dieback,
  • Loss and/or discoloration of foliage,
  • And a generally unhealthy appearance.

Internally, the trees with root rot will have patterns of discoloration and decay. A diseased tree can live for years with the condition and without symptoms. Usually, trees with extensive root rot die in several years. Fungal conks, aka mushrooms growing from the base of a tree, are a strong indication that a tree is suffering from root rot. Excess water usually makes it difficult for trees to get the air that they need. This causes them to decay.

You can’t really treat root rot. The most common ‘treatment’ is prevention. Try to prevent root damage or wounds to the lower trunks of trees. Keep them from being overwatered. If you do want to plant a tree in an area where trees had died of root rot, you will want to remove the stumps of those trees and roots. This will reduce local fungus spread to the new tree. You can also consider soil sterilization with an appropriate pesticide such as our arborist can suggest for you.

If you’ve had root rot in the area and want to plant a tree, it’s best to contact Austin Tree Service so our ISA certified arborist can make sure the area is disease-free. If you suspect your tree has root rot, we can also check that out and make a determination of what the best course of action for your tree is. Please call us at 512-341-8888 if you suspect that root rot has infected any of your trees.