Question I noticed a smooth very pale cream colored blob at the base of our old fruitless mulberry today. Feels spongy when poked with a stick and measures approx 6" x 3". The tree itself appears healthy. However, a family member said it sounds like a fungus which is a sign the tree is dead/dying inside and needs to be cut down asap since it is near our house. Yikes! Does it sound like this is truly the case or would it be worth adding the cost of having a local expert out first to the price of having the tree removed?
Answer There are a number of Basal Rot diseases that manifest in this way. If this fungal growth is from the tree, your family member may be right. However, if the area is mulched with shredded bark or wood mulch you may be dealing with a fungus appropriately called Dog Vomit Fungi. Dog Vomit Fungi is harmless, but gross. I recommend enlisting the help of a local Certified Arborist to make the determination.
I am available to help people with questions about turf, ornamental plants, and shade trees. I am well versed in plant identification, pruning, healthcare, and installation. I specialize in disease and pest diagnosis of trees and shrubs.
I have 18 years of experience in the landscape industry. I hold several professional certifications; Certified Arborist, Certified Landscape Professional, Certified Oak Wilt Specialist. I have taught horticulture courses as an adjunct instructor with my local county college.
Education/Credentials A.A.S. Horticulture
Certified Arborist, TX1340-A
Certificate in Horticulture, Tarrant County College
Certified Oak Wilt Specialist, Texas Forest Service
Certified Landscape Professional, Texas Nursery and Landscape Association