What Is Orange Peel Fungus?
Orange peel fungus (also known as cup fungus) is a fungal disease that affects trees. It causes the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually die off completely. The infection spreads through contact with infected soil, water, and other surfaces such as windowsills or door frames. It may also spread from one person to another if they touch each others’ hands while handling the same object.
The symptoms are usually seen first in the lower branches and then move up into the trunk. The fungus can also cause death in some cases. Infected trees may lose all their foliage within two years, though it may take longer due to the slower growth rate of this type of tree. Trees affected by orange peel fungus will not grow back once dead, but will instead rot away slowly over time until nothing remains at all.
How Does Orange Peel Fungus Spread?
It is believed that the fungus can spread through direct contact with infected soil, contaminated water, or other objects. However, it is also possible for the fungus to get airborne when infected insects bite into infected soil. There have been reports of people spreading the disease via coughing and sneezing on infected soil during outdoor activities like gardening or lawn care. The spores of the fungus are very small so they may travel long distances before being detected by a human’s immune system.
Despite popular belief, the orange fungus does not spread through direct contact with another person. It can only spread through contact with infected soil, contaminated water, or other objects. If it was spread through direct contact then each person who handled an infected orange would get sick as well. Orange peel fungus is not an airborne disease, so it can’t infect people who are standing far away from the person who has the disease.
What Does Orange Peel Fungus Look Like?
The fungus causes leaves to turn yellow and then brown before falling off the tree. It can easily be mistaken for other types of fungus, but there are several telltale signs that it is in fact the extra-dry type.
How To Prevent The Spread Of Orange Peel Fungus
If a person or pet comes into contact with infected soil, wash their hands immediately to prevent the spread of the disease. Take extra care when working outdoors around trees. When participating in outdoor activities like hiking or camping, make sure to wash your hands before eating or touching your face. Avoid drinking from streams or other natural water sources and use a water purifier if you are unsure of the water’s safety.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have washed your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap. If you have been exposed to infected soil, wash your clothes immediately.
How Is Orange Peel Fungus Treated?
There is no cure for the disease. The infected area should be cordoned off from the rest of the environment to prevent further spread. All clothing and outdoor equipment should be sterilized before being used again. Those who have been infected show no signs of the disease after ten days, but they are still carriers and must practice precaution when around public areas.
How To Tell If A Tree Has Orange Peel Fungus
A tree with orange peel fungus will begin to show signs of discoloring between two and ten years of being infected. The fungal growth will happen slowly at first, but once it reaches the top of the tree, it will progress rapidly. Leaves on the tree will discolor first, starting with the older leaves and working its way to the top. The trees health will start to decline as well and it may lose many of its leaves, making it very obvious that something is wrong.
It is not uncommon for trees to be removed and replaced by area managers before the fungus is identified.
List Of Species Affected By Orange Peel Fungus
This disease has been confirmed in all areas of the world where trees grow naturally. It is most common in areas with temperate weather. It poses a serious threat to crops such as apples, oranges, and other tree-borne fruits and vegetables.
How To Protect Your Tree From Fungus
Make sure to keep your tree isolated from other trees using a physical barrier. This can be done by digging a trench around the infected tree and filling it with sand, or by building a wooden or metal fence around it. If you don’t own the land your tree is growing on, consult with the owner to see if they will do this for you. If not, it may be best to cut your losses and remove the tree before the fungus reaches critical mass.
Make sure all tools and equipment used around the tree are sterilized before use elsewhere. This can be accomplished by soaking them in a tub of disinfectant for several hours. If this is not possible, then the tools should not be used until they have had at least two thorough washings.
How To Remove A Tree With Orange Peel Fungus
Irradiation is a common way to kill fungus in infected trees or crops, but this method is very costly and requires professional maintenance. Irradiation will kill all fungus in the tree, but it will not remove the infected sapwood. This means the tree is still a carrier and can spread the disease to other trees if planted nearby.
Solarization is another effective method of removing fungus from infected trees. Larger trees may require professionals to do this for you, while smaller specimens can be laid on their sides and propped up on blocks to allow the sun to hit the undersides of the tree. This method takes from one to three months, depending on the tree’s size and the intensity of the sun.
Fungicidal injections are also an option though they must be performed yearly to maintain effectiveness. In some cases fungicidal injections can kill the tree, so this should be a last resort for trees that are important for maintenance of the local ecosystem.
The fungus cannot be removed from infected trees, but it can be stopped from spreading to other trees.
Blue Stain Fungus
Blue stain fungus is a common disease that is easily identified by the blue-gray streaks it leaves on host trees. It typically begins on small branches and slowly makes its way to the top of the tree, killing parts of it in the process. In most cases, the tree will eventually perish after prolonged exposure.
In addition to killing trees, it also has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem that surrounds it. As the trees decay, they leave less cover for small mammals and avian species. This makes them more vulnerable to predation and hastens their journey towards extinction.
Due to its role in host tree mortality, blue stain fungus has been researched as a potential resource for wood.
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