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Signs or symptom a trees health could be at risk of falling or limbs breaking off

Common mushroom, fungi and disease on trees:

Ash dieback (Hymenoscyph​us fraxineus):

Leaves will start browning off before wilting and turning black, lesions develop often diamond shaped where branches meet the trunk with brown colour underneath. Epicormic growth will occur further down the tree as a sign of stress in the tree, it is crucial to get this diagnosed as early as possible because this disease will make the tree brittle and increasing its liability to fail and make it less safe to climb and carry out rigging resulting in increased costs and risk.

Acute Oak Decline:

Still being investigated but symptoms are a gradual decrease in the overall health of the tree and the tree becoming stressed increasing its vulnerability to pests, disease and fungi infection etc. resulting in an overall decline in the tree, black fluid coming from the trunk and dieback and eventual death of the tree over a period of years.


There are many species of Canker which have differing effects and effect specific tree types and groups but key trees effected are Horse Chestnut and Prunus species by bacterial Canker and Phytophthora species effecting mainly effecting Larch, Juniper, Oak and Alder. Effects include Bleeding red, brown or black fluid from the branches, trunk and stems of Horse Chestnut which later in the year dries to a hard crusty deposit. Left unchecked it can encourage further infection from other fungi and weaken the trees health leading to it significant decay and death. On trees effected miss shaped branches, holes in leaves, early leaf fall on effected branches and an orange fluid leaking from effected areas. Cutting out effected areas if caught early can be carried out or if infection is too extensive removal may be required.

Honey Fungus (Armillaria Mellea):

Also called the bootlace fungi this fungus effects a wide variety of trees and is usually fatal over time as even if caught early there is no treatment as it usually effects the trunk near the ground level. Symptoms include bleeding and cracking bark, lack of flowers, dieback and leaves turning pale. Purple, red then maturing to black bootlace like rhizomorphs and white mycelium near the base of the tree under the bark. Fruiting mushrooms are creamy yellow appearing in autumn from up to 30cm from the original source and of varying sized clumps. Complete removal of effected trees is usually the best option although various Honey Fungus exist and not all are fatal to plants, the risk however of trees failing may be too great not to recommend tree removal.