Beech tree infected - Fungus? insect?

Asked December 6, 2017, 9:52 PM EST

I have a lovely copper beech tree in my backyard. Over the last several years I have noticed a black mass at the base of the tree, the mass looks like a mushroom but is hard and part of the bark. Cracks in the bark have exposed the cambium and lower limbs have died. Obviously, something is very wrong.

Montgomery County Maryland

3 Responses

The black mass is a species of fungus that lives on decaying wood. Finding this as the base of a tree indicates the tree has dead wood in it. From your description, it sounds like the tree is slowly dying. There is no means to kill the fungus and it would be futile anyway because that is not the root cause of your tree's decline. Tree's decline for many reasons. Read through the links at the bottom of this webpage:https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/trees-and-shrubs/common-plant-and-pest-problems-trees-and-shrubs The ones about common problems are particularly helpful.

ECN

Thank you. I was afraid slow decay was the answer