What is eating the hearts of my trees

Asked June 25, 2018, 5:17 PM EDT

I have numerous trees on the wooded portion of my lot that have a lot of damage to them. I am curious as to what the cause may be and if I need/should do anything. There are at least 6 affected trees maybe more. They appear to be maples and poplars. I am attaching pics of a few of the trees.

Whitley County Kentucky tree health agriculture whitley county kentucky

1 Response

The pictures show typical heartrot that is from one or a number of naturally occuring fungi. These fungi attack the middle of the tree (called heartwood). They are able to do so because the trees have been wounded at the base, some time in the past. Typically wounding comes from fire, logging, cattle, or anything that kills the inner bark of the tree. Once the inner bark is wounded and dies it allows heartrot fungi to enter the tree. This is natural and the cure must be pre-emptive - not letting the trees get wounded. Once the wounding happens there is virtually nothing one can do to stop the natural decay from happening.