Hi, we purchased property a couple of years ago, which has this older apple tree on it. It was very neglected, but we've done pruning to try and rejuvenate it. It had been looking better in the fall, but since the spring has grown some sort of fungus. I was hoping for some help identifying it, and advisement on whether it is treatable or if we need to cut the tree down.
Looks like turkey tail, which would mean the tree is being recycled by the hyphae eating the cambium layer and it has developed enough to fruit.
The spores most likely got in at that crotch, through a break in the bark.
It is possible the tree can survive and even produce fruit, it will depend on how much of the tree has been stricken already.
You might be able to save the trunk, which could put out new growth, again it will depend on how far the hyphae have already spread.
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When Trametis Versicolor, or Turkey Tail mushrooms, have created a fruiting body that abundant, it means the fungal infection is typically wide spread in the supporting structures of the tree. Rot tends to mostly go down, but thats not an absolute. From my experience the pith of your tree in a substantial part of its main scaffolding branches, down to the lower part of the trunk will be compromised by fungal rot. Trees can still grow and produce with these conditions for countless years depending on the fungus species, scion graft, and variety of rootstock. If its not a hazard to anything or anyone, there's no reason to be alarmed. Give the tree proper care, and judge it by its production, viable polinators present of course. If your concerened about the rot for any reason, like its a big tree with the potential to cause property damage or physical harm, have a qualified Arborist perform an inspection and or ultrasound if needed to determine the extent of any potential hazard.
It can very from state to state, so depending on the laws in your state, if a qualified Arborist in hazard assessment, gives you the inspection and determines its a hazard tree. Once you've been duly informed by the appropriate measures, you may be liable for any damades that occure as a result of that tree, if the hazard isn't addressed, by removal of the hazard.
Also harvest the heck out of those turkey tails while you can! They are typically used for making medical tea, as they are a great source of many healthy compunds for boosting the immune system, to say the least!
Hope that helps!
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