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For The Garden

Gardening advice on palo verde fungus

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: August, 2013, Page 131
Ganoderma



ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - During a monsoon storm, we lost a mature palo verde tree that shaded our entire front yard. The maintenance crew who removed it diagnosed ganoderma. What is this, and can we replant there?

A - If your tree truly had ganoderma fungus, it may be problematic to replant without the new transplant eventually being affected by the disease, says Certified Arborist Cathy Rymer. This fungus lives for a very long time in the soil, and there is no cure. However, it would be extremely rare that a palo verde tree had ganoderma. The University of Arizona Plant Pathology Department has only one reference to palo verdes being susceptible to fungal diseases and none that specifically mention ganoderma.

Landscapers without appropriate training are often quick to blame diseases or insects for problems without correct diagnosis. One obvious symptom of ganoderma is the hard, shelf-like fungal body that grows on the trunk near the soil. It can also be determined by looking for fungal strands growing under the bark of the roots. Affected roots or trunk tissue may be soft and lightweight. To find more information about ganoderma, including plants that are considered susceptible to it, as well as photos of the fungal body, log on to ag.arizona.edu/plp/plpext/diseases/trees/Ash/Ganoderma.htm.
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