artillery fungus

Asked November 27, 2016, 4:30 PM EST

We are in artillery fungus hell. After much scraping, power washing, etc--- we decided to have all of our mulch removed and replaced with rocks. Do I need to get rid of my plants and shrubs? They are covered with the spores. I'd rather not risk it and go through this again. Also, what happens if we miss some spores and they then drop onto the rocks? Will we have the same problem with our wood siding and deck again? Our neighbor's home is close. Can it spread back to our house if the spores aren't removed from their siding? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question about artillery fungus, aka Sphaerobolus fungus spores. Unfortunately, they can accumulate on siding, plants and even cars, and are almost impossible to remove. However, the fungus actually does no damage to any of these. The spores disseminate far and wide, and in our moist climate, the fungus thrives.

So, the question about whether to remove your plants is really an aesthetic question, rather than one that addresses your plants' health. There is currently no known fungicide that effectively treats (destroys) the fungus. Your removing the wood mulch may cut down on future development, but you cannot be certain. Here's a link to an article from Cornell about the fungus and some ideas.

Good luck!