Watch for Root Rot in Trees and Plants

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Root rot is a destructive disease that affects a wide variety of tree and shrub species. It is caused by poor cultural conditions and/or fungal or bacterial infections that spread through contaminated soil, water and infected plant material, where it can survive for many years. This disease can attack and kill plants quickly when left unaddressed, making it essential to watch for root rot in trees and plants and take preventative measures to support plant health and inhibit spread.

Signs of Root Rot in Trees and Plants

Keep your commercial landscape healthy and looking its best by watching out for these signs of root rot:

  • Discolored, yellow/brown foliage
  • Wilted or stunted leaves
  • Thinning canopy
  • White fungal growth beneath the bark at the root/stem base
  • Mushroom/fungal growth around the tree base
  • Soft roots

Plant Health Care Tips for Preventing Root Rot

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Root rot has no cure. Proper plant health care is essential to prevent its spread, minimize the impact of root rot, and ensure your shrubs and trees live a long, happy life. Preventative measures include:

  • Proper drainage
    Assess the drainage around plants and trees, addressing areas of puddling, such as proximity to downspouts, that could lead to fungal growth.
  • Irrigation management
    Update your irrigation management practices. Monitor soil and climate conditions and water only enough to avoid drought stress. Watering should be thorough and deep, at wide intervals. Avoid continuously wetting the tree/plant’s base and crown.
  • Monitoring soil health
    Watch for conditions that provide a hospitable environment for root rot to grow, such as dense, compacted, poorly draining soil and overcrowded plantings that impede air flow. To ensure strong, healthy trees and plants capable of withstanding exposure to climate extremes and disease, address nutrient deficiencies with compost, mulch, and other soil amendments as needed.
  • Regular landscape maintenance
    Remove and discard old, infected plants. Be sure to remove all parts, including stumps and roots, to prevent the spread of infectious material. Talk to our knowledgeable landscape enhancement professionals about suitable root rot-resistant species for replacing infected plant life.

Watch for root rot in trees and plants to ensure a beautiful, lasting landscape. If you suspect your plants and trees have root rot, contact Gachina Landscape Management at 650-853-0400 to schedule a rapid assessment of your Bay Area, Palo Alto, Burlingame, San Francisco, San Jose, Pleasanton, Hayward, Fremont, Livermore, or Walnut Creek property by our licensed, professional arborists.

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