The Q&A Archives: Mushrooms Sprouting In My Norway Maple

Question: We have a very large beautiful Norway maple in our yard. Unfortunately, about 8-10 feet up the trunk is a crotch formed by the intersection of three large limbs. The bark is dead in this crotch and it tends to catch debris (leaves, etc) as well as rainwater. There are now brown muchrooms sprouting there. I realize the fungus likely extends into the trunk of the tree, but will removing the mushrooms and treating with a fungicide help at this point? Is there anything more I should do such as coat the area with tar?

Answer: Generally speaking, such a crotch is a long term invitation for all kinds of trouble, from decay to splitting, as the tree ages. The fact that there are mushrooms growing there would seem a strong indication that there is in fact already some internal trouble not visible from the exterior, but quite possibly severe enough to make the tree unsound and potentially quite dangerous. I would strongly urge you to consult with a professionally trained arborist with regard to the health and safety of the tree.

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