Help us achieve our goals:
make a donation »
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
Bracket fungi cause decay and rot in the heartwood of trees and produce bracket-shaped fruiting bodies on the trunk or main branches. These fungi usually lead to weakening and sometimes to the eventual breakage or fall of affected trees.
Brackets are the fruiting structures of many different fungi that cause heartwood decay in standing trees. The fungal bodies or brackets appear in spring, summer and autumn, but weakened trees can topple at any time. Note that there are other fungi which also cause decay that are not bracket fungi.
There are many different types of bracket fungi, many which are specific to a particular host and often of little importance in gardens. Important ones that commonly cause significant damage to garden trees include:
Although there are many different bracket fungi, they all cause similar symptoms, as mentioned below.
Some of the symptoms you may see:
Gardeners are legally responsible for their trees and may be liable for prosecution if damage or injury results from falling timber. For assessments of tree health, advice on suitable consultants and contractors contact:
The Arboricultural AssociationThe MalthouseStroud GreenStandishStonehouseGloucestershireGL10 3DLTel. 01242 522152For identification of decay fungi, contact;Tree Health Diagnostic & Advisory ServiceForest ResearchAlice Holt LodgeFarnhamGU10 4LH
or, for those living north of a line drawn from the Mersey to the Humber:
Forest ResearchNorthern Research StationRoslinMidlothianEH25 9SY(£40 + VAT per specimen)
RHS Gardening Advice (free, but RHS members only)
There are no chemicals for control of bracket fungi.
The brackets release huge quantities of wind-blown spores which germinate on wounded wood and penetrate into the heartwood, where the fungus forms an expanding pocket of rot. Any pruning which exposes heartwood will increase the likelihood of infection. Most of the fungi described as ‘brackets’ only live on and decay the heartwood, they do not infect and kill the living parts of the tree.
Honey fungus, a destructive pathogen as well as a decay fungus, is not a bracket fungus.
Coral spotDisposing of diseased materialFairy ringsHiring contractorsHoney fungusMycorrhizal fungiRoger's mushrooms - online fungi identificationSaprophytic fungiWhy has my tree or shrub died?
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9