Gross white growth on crabapple tree

Asked August 1, 2018, 1:27 PM EDT

Hi, See photo. How do I get rid of this? Thanks for your help. Sue Peters

New Castle County Delaware

3 Responses


What you see is the fruiting body of a Basidiomycete wood decay fungus, that is growing inside the tree. They are harmless to people and pets, and some are edible. With some growth and enough moisture, the fungus produces its version of a mushroom, on the trunk of the tree. It is 90% water, so you can break or scrape it off with the end of a hoe or shovel. Be careful not to damage the bark of the tree. It may come back, but most likely may be seen only once a year or once every other year. It is a sign that the tree has begun to decay inside the trunk with what we call a heart rot. It may be time to begin to think about a replacement tree for that location in a year or two.

Thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension,

Thank you very much for your help! I've noticed a second growth popping out on the other side of the trunk and the photo actuallly shows a second bloom that appeared soon after we knocked off the first. So I guess it's time to choose a new tree. Any suggestions for our Newark DE yard are welcome.

Hi! Our website has some great fact sheets - like trees for Delaware that may be helpful - - look at the Livable Plants for the Home Landscape for suggestions as well.

Other fact sheets that may be helpful as well -

You can always call the New Castle County Garden Helpline at 302.831.8862 if you have specific questions about specific plants for your landscape.

Enjoy choosing a new tree!