General information about tree fungus
Fungi are made of single or multi-cellular threads (Hyphae).
They form the mycelium. With the hyphae, the fungus invades the wood and extracts nutrients, importantly, cellulose, polysaccharides, and lignin. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that the fungus also needs can be found only in the healthy cells of the tree.
Enzymes make it possible for the fungus to extract these substances from the cells. Fungi are aerobic life forms and therefore need oxygen. The fungus needs water because of physiological reasons. Light is also needed by most fungi in order to form buds. Wood destroying fungi can survive some dry spells without damage. Warm and humid weather is optimal for them.
Fungi penetrate a tree through wounds. One can often see that a tree is affected with fungi when that fungus has started to sprout buds. Wood destroying fungi diminish the stability and endanger the tree. The process of the destruction of the wood until the death of the tree can take years. The length of time is dependent on the type of tree and fungi. Avoid wounds to the tree or the roots (lawn mower, digging, swings, etc.). Wood decomposing fungi attack a host plant in three different ways.
Through white rot, lignin decomposes. The wood becomes lighter in color, softens, and frays. Swelling causes the volume of wood to increase.