Armillaria Root Rot| Atlanta, Georgia

Yellow mushrooms are present at the base of a tree

Armillaria Root Rot| Signs and Symptoms

There are several general symptoms that accompany Armillaria root disease, including crown dieback, growth reduction, premature leaf drop or death of the tree. Because these fungi commonly inhabit roots, their detection is difficult unless characteristic mushrooms are produced at the base of the tree

Management Strategies

Because these fungi are indigenous to many areas and live on a wide variety of plants and woody material, their eradication or complete exclusion is not feasible; management should be directed toward limiting disease buildup or reducing its impact. Where individual trees are of high value, chemical fumigants, including chloropicrin, methyl bromide, and carbon disulfide, can reduce the infection level. These fumigants are applied in and around the base of infected stems or in holes left after trees have been uprooted. Cultural management shows promise for dealing with Armillaria in residential properties. Management considerations include (1) Replanting properties with a mixture of species ecologically suited to the site and not obviously infected by Armillaria; (2) maintaining vigorous tree growth without causing undue damage to soils; (3) minimizing stress to and wounding of ornamental trees; and (4) reducing the food source by stump grinding infected or susceptible root systems and stumps. For more information please see the USDA Forest Insect and Disease Leaflet

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