Rotted Tree Trunk? What To Do

Trees are great additions to your landscape design. They can provide shade, add texture and color, and increase the curb appeal and value of your home. Unfortunately, without proper care, your trees can also be an eyesore in your yard. If you notice the trunk of your tree is starting to decay and rot, you most likely have a fungal infection that should be addressed immediately. This guide will help you decide what to do if your tree trunk is rotting.

Clean Out

As soon as you notice your tree trunk is starting to rot, you should try to reduce the moisture surrounding the tree's underlying roots. This will require digging out some of the soil in an attempt to dry out the soil and roots.

By removing some of the mulch, pine straw, and soil, you can reduce the amount of moisture building up around the tree's roots, which can stop the fungal growth.


Strengthening the tree will also be necessary, so it can stop the fungal growth from spreading while healing itself from the inside out.

An application of fertilizer is important for strengthening your tree. Make sure to apply a high-phosphorus fertilizer to improve the health of the tree's roots. A slow-release fertilizer is best to avoid excessive amounts of nutrients applied at one time.


Cleaning out the moist soil and fertilizing your tree are both helpful for stopping the fungus from spreading. However, if the fungal infection has already spread to the limbs and foliage, a more involved treatment will be necessary.

Use sharp pruning shears to remove any limbs and branches that are showing signs of fungal growth, such as white/gray residue or decaying wood. Be sure to dispose of the trimmed tree debris in a safe location away from other trees and plants. Also, clean your pruning shears with alcohol after trimming to prevent the spread of the fungal infection to other trees.


There are instances where your tree will need to be removed from your yard. If large holes have developed in your tree trunk because of rot or the tree is uprooting out of the ground, removing the tree will be your best option.

Also, if your tree's limbs are breaking off and falling onto your home's roof, vehicle, or driveway, consider removing the tree to reduce the risk of damage in the future.

Fungal growth may be common, but it should not wreak havoc on your trees and landscape design. This guide will teach you what to do if your tree trunk is starting to rot. If you need help taking care of your trees, contact a local company that provides tree services.