The final entry into our recent series of articles on tree diseases is a big one. Ganoderma Butt Rot, a tree condition that has left a lethal swathe in the Florida tree community.
This insidious disease works on the lower fifth of a palm tree trunk. The effects can range from superficial wood decay to eventual death if left untreated. It’s a disease stemming from tree wounds, before rotting the tree from the inside out.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Join us, today, as we get into the finer details of Ganoderma Butt Rot, its treatment, and how it can affect your trees.
Ganoderma Butt Rot is a fungal disease that creates distinctive conks along the lower four feet of the trunk of a palm tree. These fungi decay the wood in your tree, and there’s really no limit to the kinds of wood it’ll eat away at, from hard to softwood and palms.
The Ganoderma zonatum pathogen causes this disease, and it’s the kind of infection that, much like many other fungal diseases, has been known to spread from tree to tree quite quickly. This makes it particularly difficult to deal with, and it is particularly widespread throughout South Florida.
Ganoderma butt rot symptoms include the classic lineup of “sick tree” indicators.
Wilting leaves. Discolored bark and leaves. Slowed growth. The signs your tree has started suffering from Ganoderma butt rot are fairly obvious if you pay attention. But these aren’t unique to Ganoderma, so what else is there?
Look out for distinctive conks, or wide, umbrella-shaped mushrooms jutting out of your tree at right angles. These may be various shades of brown and yellow, or even white, and are often quite large.
You may also find internal rotting in the palm if you cut it back or down, completely.
Sadly, there is no known cure for Ganoderma butt rot. Trees cannot be maintained, and the disease is only likely to spread, over time. As a precaution, ahead of time, you can work to decrease moisture, so that your tree is less at risk of becoming infected in the first place. Avoid injuries to your tree, as split bark and wood provide access for spores.
But after an infection, there’s not much that can be done. You’ll want to cut your palm down and remove it carefully, in tied plastic bags, so as not to spread spores to the rest of your garden. You’ll be able to mulch everything from the lower four-to-six feet up, but the lower, infected area should be disposed of carefully.
Ultimately, tree sicknesses like Ganoderma butt rot are a nightmare for tree owners, but if you can react to them in good time, you stand a better chance of preventing their spread to other trees.
Are you considering tree removal services in your garden? Looking for professional insights into tree sicknesses and what your treatment options are? Get in touch with us, today, and start taking back your yard!