COBALT BLUE MOLD - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for gmacmoneyman
Question by gmacmoneyman
August 26, 2010
A large branch just fell from one of my 75+ yr old Pin Oak trees. It had a strange, cobolt blue mold within the crevices of the bark!! What does this mean? I've never seen such a thing!!! It looks somewhat velvety w/round spore concentrations. Is my tree dying? It's 20ft from my home ...

Answer from NGA
August 26, 2010
What you are seeing is the yeast-like blue stain fungus. In itself it is not harmful, but it is a parasite of certain wood boring beetles. It is there because your tree has been invaded by beetles. The only way to control blue stain fungi, which is a species of sac fungi and not a mold, is to suppress the host beetles. This can be a real challenge; since a fungicide is not option, the first step toward eliminating the fungus is to eliminate the beetles. This may not be a job for you as a homeowner but for a certified arborist. Just to get a positive diagnosis and some control suggestions, why not take a sample of the wood to your local cooperative extension office? Contact N C Cooperative Extension Service, 1303 Dallas Cherryville Highway, Dallas, NC 28034-8801 phone (704) 922-0301.

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