Trunk rot results from fungal infection in trees, and it first manifests itself through wilted and yellowing leaves and your Conroe trees’ stunted growth. Untreated, the fungus damage will show itself as “fruiting” growth on the outside of the trunk.
It can be difficult to treat any kind of rot in your trees, and once it’s started to blossom into “fruit,” it becomes virtually impossible. Most effective treatments center on doing what you can to help restore the tree’s strength as early as possible, rather than trying to treat the infection itself.
As you probably know already, prevention is almost always the best cure. What can you do to help prevent Trunk rot in your trees?
Helping Prevent Trunk Rot
A couple of preliminary steps to help prevent Tree rot include:
Leveling mulch around the tree trunk rather than piling the mulch around it, and employ tree guards around younger trees to help protect their trunks from injury and excess moisture.
- Tree injuries should be addressed quickly, as they make your trees more vulnerable to infection.
Once rot has infected your tree’s trunk, there are basically two viable options to proceed. You can try to save the tree, or you can let it progress and later try to eliminate the disease from the area. The severity of the damage should guide the option you select.
Taking Care of Trees With Trunk Rot
Trees with less visible damage can likely be saved, or you can at least extend their lives somewhat.
Check your trees for factors that may be contributing excess stress, like poor drainage or insect infestations, and address these issues.
With a trowel, you can dig out soil or mulch from around the tree root’s crown to rid the area of too much moisture.
Fertilize with a high-phosphorous fertilizer in March and October to help aid root growth. Mix into the drip-line soil (3 to 5 pounds for each inch of the trunk’s diameter).
Trim severely injured or dead branches, to help preserve the tree’s energy against disease. Remove small branches and offshoots (i.e., suckers) from the lower trunk.