The cause of root rot is a fungus. Species of the Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, or Fusarium fungi are the usual culprits is caused by poor drainage or overwatering in the soil around the tree. The tree becomes unable to absorb the moisture and nourishment it needs from the soil, causing the oxygen-starved roots to slowly die and decay.
In some trees, it can take years of suffering from this disease before it dies. In others, the tree may be killed within a single season.
Types of trees affected by root rot include:
· Port-Orford cedars
Signs and symptoms of root rot
A tree suffering from root rot will have an overall unhealthy appearance and reduced vigor. A good way to identify root rot include:
· Poor growth
· Small, pale leaves
· Wilted or yellow leaves
· A thinning canopy
· Branch dieback
To identify root rot is truly the cause of your tree’s issue, an arborist will need to examine the root tissue a few inches below the soil line.
How to prevent root rot
Preventing root rot starts with good soil drainage. Avoid overwatering and creating irrigation moats to keep water from pooling against the trunk. Proper care and drainage is particularly important for young trees, as they are especially vulnerable due to underdeveloped root systems and crowns.
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