Question of the Week Number 2: June 8, 2017
“Neil, I found this falling off dead branches of an old pecan today. Is this what is killing them? What should I do?”
This is what is called a “saprophytic” fungus (as opposed to parasitic). It lives off dead and decaying organic matter. It isn’t what killed the branch, but it’s existing off the dead wood. In that respect, it’s a bit like mushrooms and toadstools in the yard.
My tree guys from Arborilogical Services of DFW (advertisers in this publication) spent most of two days at our house last week trimming dead branches out of our pecan forest. Pecans are notorious for losing their lower branches as they’re shaded by branches that are higher up in the trees. That’s the way life goes in the world of pecan trees.
I suggested that she might want to have a certified arborist take a look at her tree on site. At a minimum she would want to have the dead branches pruned out before they fall and cause injury or do damage.