By: Teo Spengler
Ganoderma root rot includes not one but several different diseases that could impact your trees. It includes root rots caused the different Ganoderma fungi that attack maples, oaks and honey locust trees, among others. If your landscaping includes these or other deciduous trees, you’ll want to learn about Ganoderma symptoms so that you can quickly identify trees attacked by Ganoderma disease. Read on for info on the Ganoderma fungus.
Many people have never heard of Ganoderma root rot and wonder what it is. This serious rot disease is caused by a Ganoderma fungus. If you have deciduous trees in your yard, they may be susceptible to attack. Sometimes conifers are vulnerable to Ganoderma disease as well.
If one of your trees has this disease, you will see definite Ganoderma symptoms, which causes the decay of the heartwood. The leaves may yellow and wilt and entire branches may die as the decay advances. Look for fruiting bodies that resemble little shelves on the lower trunk. These are conks and generally one of the early Ganoderma symptoms.
The two main types of Ganoderma root rot fungus are called varnished fungus rot and unvarnished fungus rot. The upper surface of varnished fungus rot looks shiny and is usually a mahogany color trimmed in white. Unvarnished fungus rot conks are the same colors but not shiny.
If you learn that your trees have root rot from seeking the conks, unfortunately, there’s really nothing you can do to help. The heartwood will continue to decay and can kill a tree in as little as three years.
If a tree is stressed in other ways, it will die sooner than vigorous trees. The Ganoderma fungus will ultimately damage the structural integrity of the tree, when strong wind or storms may uproot it.
You won’t find anything available in commerce to control this type of disease. Use the best cultural practices to keep your trees as healthy as possible, and avoid damaging trunks and roots when you work in the yard.
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Shaoping Nie , . Mingyong Xie , in Bioactive Polysaccharides , 2018
Ganoderma is a kind of fungus which has long been used as a folk remedy for promoting health and longevity in Asian countries. Polysaccharide is considered as one of the major bioactive substances in Ganoderma. In our laboratory, we focused on one species of Ganoderma, namely Ganoderma atrum. Complex Glucomannan was isolated from G. atrum, the structure was elucidated and it also was found to have various important bioactivities, such as immunomodulatory, anti-tumor, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-hypertensive, and so on. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize our studies of polysaccharides from G. atrum on the aspects of isolation processes, structural features, and bioactivities, and to state a view for future directions.
Figure 279. Ganoderma applanatum conks are often found at the base of infected trees.
Symptoms/signs: Infected trees often break or fall before death, however, a fruiting body or conk can be found at the base of most infected trees. The tough semicircular conk is usually found near ground level. It has a brown upper surface with a white rim and an undersurface that is white and stains when touched or scratched. The latter trait allows for artistic expression that is permanent if the conk is allowed to dry. Gandoderma applanatum produces advanced white-mottled decay in the large roots and lower parts of the stem.
Biology: Ganoderma applanatum infection occurs at wounds and the fungus attacks sapwood, heartwood, and cambium. The white-mottled rot is usually concentrated in large roots (larger than 5 cm in diameter) and base of the stem, but can extend up into the trunk for a meter or more. The larger roots are believed to act as avenues of spread to new hosts.
Effects: Ganoderma applanatum is found in almost all aspen stands but is more abundant on moist sites with deep soils. Windthrow is common.
Figure 280. Trees often topple over due to severe decay of major roots.
Similar Insects and Diseases: Although there are other root decay fungi of aspen, G. applanatum is the most prominent and the only one that produces a tough woody-conk at ground line in live trees in the Southwest.
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