How To Identify Common Tree Fungus in Menifee, CA

Recognizing tree fungal infections early on can help you deliver prompt, correct treatments before it’s too late. When attempting to identify tree fungus symptoms, you’ll quickly realize how many diseases and tree health problems your plant could be facing. Below, our team from E.L.M. Tree Care, your professional tree service specialist in Menifee, breaks down what you need to know about identifying fungal growth on trees. 

identify tree fungus

Why Tree Fungus Identification Is Vital in Menifee

Trees can suffer from numerous fungal conditions. Scientific evidence suggests that trees support each other using a network of fungi that can nourish the plants or harm them, depending on the species. 

Fungal diseases in trees range from fatal concerns to easily treatable conditions. Not all trees are susceptible to the same diseases, and not all diseases require the same treatments. Tree fungus identification helps you learn how to treat your tree correctly to prevent premature decay.

Identifying Different Common Fungal Diseases in Trees

Depending on the tree species and disease, fungal diseases may present differently. Use the tips below to identify tree fungus concerns in common species.

Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch elm disease attacks the tree’s vascular system, causing the leaves to wilt, curl, and drop. This fatal disease is usually spread by elm-bark beetles, primarily affecting elm trees. 

Canker Diseases

Fungi can cause many types of tree canker diseases, including the following:

  • Thousand cankers disease: Thinning foliage, yellowing leaves, and cankers affecting black walnut trees
  • Hypoxylon cankers: Dead lesions on limbs affecting oak trees
  • Phytophthora bleeding cankers: Oozing bark cankers on any sap trees
  • Cytospora cankers: Discolored areas of bark and pinhead pimples on various tree species

Fatal Oak Wilt

Oak wilt attacks oak and red oak trees, causing wilting and browning. You can stop the spread of this fatal disease by removing any infected trees, as it typically spreads through roots. 


Verticillium is another type of wilt disease affecting numerous species, causing leaves to yellow or curl up while preventing tree growth. The disease typically cannot be stopped with fungicide, so your best bet is to plant trees like birch that are immune to it. 

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew attacks the tree’s leaves, creating a powdery dusting. Tall garden phlox and other perennials are highly susceptible to powdery mildew. 

Shot Hole Fungus

Shot hole fungus leaves holes in the plant’s leaves as if insects have made the damage, which often results in misidentification. The primary difference in helping you identify the signs of tree fungus versus insect damage is the presence of red dots alongside the holes. Cherry trees are highly susceptible to shot hole fungus. 

Sooty Mold

Sooty mold creates a thin, black film on the plant’s leaves due to sunlight deprivation. The film occurs from scale insects, which you can remove with neem oil. 

Call the Tree Professionals Today

Now that you know how to identify tree fungus, call E.L.M. Tree Care today at (951) 216-3650 if you need help saving a half-dead tree

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