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Video:What Is Amillaria Root Rot?

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Armillaria Root Rot is a disease that affects trees in tropical and temperate climates. In this About.com video, learn the initial signs of Armillaria Root Rot, and how to treat it.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Amillaria Root Rot?

Hello, I'm Adrienne for About.com, and today I'll be giving you an overview of Armillaria Root Rot. 

What is Armillaria Root Rot?

Armillaria Root Rot is a root disease caused by several closely related species of fungi that affects trees in both tropical and temperate climates. The fungi are soil-born parasites that infect the roots of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation.  

The fungus can be well-advanced in the root system of trees before any surface symptoms become visible, making early detection of the disease difficult. Infected trees may die off quickly, or may live with the disease for several years. 

Visible symptoms of Armillaria Root Rot

Foliage turning yellow to brown, thinning foliage, no new growth. The presence of specific mushrooms, produced by the fungus, around the base of the tree 

How Armillaria Spreads 

Armillaria can spread from root to root, and from a stump to a new tree through the use of rhizomorphs. Rhizomorphs are thread-like structures that expand out through the soil and contact uninfected roots, thus spreading the disease. Since the fungus is active in the soil, removal of infected trees does not guarantee eradication. The disease can persist in the soil and then attack newly planted trees, making it difficult to manage and treat.   

Treatment and Management

Check for disease-promoting conditions, such as bad drainage. Armillaria needs a very moist environment, and providing good drainage for trees can help prevent fungal growth. If a tree dies from Armillaria Root Rot, remove the tree, and check surrounding trees for infection. Remove any infected trees, and do not replant Armillaria-susceptible trees. Trees can be saved from Armillaria Root Rot if the infection is caught early enough, the tree is strong enough, and the conditions where the tree is growing can be altered to be unsuitable for fungal growth.   

Thank you for watching. For additional information on Armillaria Root Rot, please visit About.com.

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