2 3 live&learn&rejoice: beware the celtis laevigata

May 15, 2011

beware the celtis laevigata

the celtis laevigata, aka hackberry tree, that appeared perfectly healthy couldn't hack it anymore and alas the green giant committed suicide in the backyard with no warning causing $5k worth of damage (and still counting).

how does a tree that appears healthy just collapse in a gentle thunderstorm? ah...today i know what i did not know yesterday...
[hackberry trees] are susceptible to a root fungus (Hypoxylon) that appears around the base of the tree as a black, crusty growth. This fungus does not appear to interfere with normal life processes and, other than the fungal growth, the tree appears healthy. However, the fungus weakens the roots and, following a wind storm, the tree may be found toppled over. Inspection of the root-base reveals a break between roots and trunk that is so clean that it appears to have been done with a chain-saw!