The Q&A Archives: Lilac Fungus

Question: Dear Burpee,<br> Last spring the lilacs produced very tiny blooms and leaves, and very few of them. Then starting at the base of one of the trees a fungus started to grow. It is white/grey in color and looks like a saucer sticking out of the side of the bark. We picked off some of it during the summer, but I noticed it is growing up the side of one trunk. How do we save the tree and stop it from spreading to the others?

Answer: What you describe is a shelf-fungus, a sign that the lilac is dying. When wood in the center of the tree begins to decompose, a conk, or fruiting body emerges from the bark. The lilac should be removed and destroyed.

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