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Bracket Fungi – not fun guys

Bracket (or shelf) fungi are wood-decaying fungi mostly found on the trunk at the base or on stumps of living trees.  

A member of the mushroom family these fungi have many pores lined with spore-producing cells called basidia, instead of the usual gills that you will see on a mushroom.  Unlike the mushrooms you see in the healthy undergrowth feeding of dead and decaying organic matter, a bracket fungus invades living trees.  

Anyone who has come across fungi like this and has touched or tried to remove it will they can be spongey or really hard. In fact, it has been known to be carved into jewellery and other works of art. 

If you find bracket fungi on a tree it’s likely to have been at work inside the tree for a number of years before it has developed enough energy to create a fungal bracket or the fruiting body. 

Bracket fungi are wood decaying fungi mostly found on the trunk at the base or on stumps of living trees.

How does it affect my tree?

The root system of the fungi, called the mycelium, travels through the wood via the vertical vascular system, breaking down fibres and causing them to rot. 

The fungi will attack the heartwood of a living tree and create rot considerable distances above and below the fungi itself. Over time your tree will then begin to hollow.  This can affect the structural integrity of the tree itself and you may find yourself with a tree that needs substantial reduction or removal.

This fungi entered through the wound on the trunk of this tree and by the time it was visible had been growing for years.

Despite this, not all is necessarily lost.  We always recommended that you consult a qualified and experienced arborist to assess the tree to confirm if it’s a case of removing the tree or simply weight reducing the limbs that are considered a danger and keeping the tree. 

After all, a tree with some internal damage but deemed low risk to a person or property might just be a home for wildlife for many years to come.

Can I get rid of the fungus and save the tree?

The short answer is NO.

There is no known way to stop the process of the growing fungi.  As we mentioned,  by the time you know the fungi is even present it is likely to have been at play inside the tree for years beforehand.  

The underside of a bracket fungi contains many spore lined pores instead of the gills you find on a mushroom

Even if you remove the external fruiting bracket the spores are still present inside the tree it will continue to decompose.  Next to that weight reduction pruning on infected branches can dramatically reduce the load on weak spots. Beyond that, there is nothing to be done to remove it. 

As always a professional arborist is the best person to provide the right advice.  Prevention is always the best course of action to minimise the chances of infection.

How can I prevent them?

Pathogenic fungi can only enter a tree via a wound (e.g. a fresh pruning wound and insect scars). So, keeping your trees as healthy as possible is the best line of defence against bracket fungi.  

A healthy tree might be able to fight pathogenic fungi on its own which will reduce the spread of decay as well as keeping the fungi at bay by making sure the environment is not ideal for spores to lay claim to the tree. 

Keeping your trees as healthy as possible is the best line of defence against bracket fungi.

Keep your tree healthy by avoiding a wet base.  Also, remember to hydrate appropriately in dry periods.  Mulch the base and plant trees in places that suit the conditions. 

Got bracket fungi? we’ve got you covered!

If you notice bracket fungi growing on your tree, give Tree Amigos a call on 1800 431 544 or contact us.
Our friendly, experienced team will chat you through your options to make the best decision for your tree.  

Why choose Tree Amigos?

  1. We’re experienced in bracket fungi and all aspects of tree care and tree removals
  2. Our qualified arborists are equipped with world-class skills. Don’t risk injuring yourself or your property!
  3. We’re fully insured, giving you peace of mind

We pride ourselves on quality work and excellent service. Our consistent outstanding customer reviews are a testament to that.

On a final note, It’s never fun to lose a tree, especially one that provides a home or shade. However, like all things in life, it’s a stark reminder of the natural life cycle of nature and that they do serve a purpose.  

We’d love to hear any questions about your trees. Come and join the discussion over on our Facebook page 

Learn more about Tree Amigos Victoria and our services we provide in and around Melbourne.

Need more information before deciding to use an arborist? Read our FAQs or learn why you should choose an arborist.

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Sam Nyhof
October 19, 2021.
Fantastic service. We in and out quickly and cleaned up after themselves. Highly recommended.
Diane Lewis
Diane Lewis
October 15, 2021.
Couldn’t be Happier with this service. The guys did a great job. Arrived on time, friendly, polite & professional
Joey Alcock
Joey Alcock
October 11, 2021.
Very professional and friendly outfit. Greatly appreciated ability to quote for and execute additional works on the spot. Many thanks Matt and team.
Tracy Hermansson
Tracy Hermansson
October 11, 2021.
I had 1 stump removed and found Tree Amigos Very professional and Covid 19 compliant. From organising a quote to paying the invoice everything was easy and efficient. Thank you
Jaimee Taylor - Fairweather
Jaimee Taylor - Fairweather
October 11, 2021.
Great team. Left the site in great condition. We’re professional, friendly and performed the job safely.
Sonia Gleeson
Sonia Gleeson
October 7, 2021.
I have had an awesome experience with the boys as they kept me in the loop the whole time. They worked very hard and got the job done perfectly.
Deborah Dowling
Deborah Dowling
September 24, 2021.
Highly recommend Tree Amigos. This was the second time I have used Tree Amigos – and for good reason. From start to finish, the thought processes that each of the team put in was extraordinary. With safety, compassionate understanding of trying to save 2 new trees and manoeuvre tree branches around them was a feat in itself. The safety required with ropes, winches and harnesses, branches, and trunks, to land a trunk in a specific location was extraordinary. All this was done amid Victoria’s largest earthquake (they didn’t know at the time). It was a good team mix with compassion, understanding, get the job done in good time and work together, clean-up after the job was done, leave us with mulch that we asked for, let alone a good price too. Thanks Tree Amigos.
Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson
September 20, 2021.
Matt was professional, friendly, and helpful, and the work they did was excellent.
Sara Olsen
Sara Olsen
September 18, 2021.
The Tree Amigos were awesome from start to finish. Great service, pricing was very reasonable, and they did a great job removing trees + stumps and pruning for us - very skilled and knowledgeable. Thanks team!