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So here is a picture of what I am facing

enter image description here

Is this a sign of heart rot? What should I do?

It seems to be confined to this one branch (no apples on that branch at all).

2 Answers 2

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Remove that whole limb ASAP. It's at least "mostly dead" if it's got shelf fungus growing on it.

The fungus is a symptom, not the cause, but you want to remove the dead wood regardless.

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  • Will removing it now harm the apples on the other branches?
    – mikeazo
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 15:37
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    The apples on the other branches have already been harmed. What you are seeing is the fruiting body of a myceliar network which is the actual fungus. That network of hyphae extends into the bark layers, cambium, sapwood and heartwood to extract nutrients from the organic matter in that branch. If you leave it on there, it will extend into the trunk and travel up into the other branches, if it already hasn't. The moment you see shelf fungus, the branch it is on needs to be removed ASAP. Yep, it's heart rot as defined by the link. Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 15:47
  • Just curious, does it mean the fruits on the branch would have gone bad as well ? Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 16:26
  • @DallasCarter Probably not, but you really shouldn't wait for them to ripen.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 17:03
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    @stormy, just saw your comment. I had 3 trees. I removed one last year as it had not produced in a few years. The leaves would shrivel up after a few months. There was indeed a hole in the middle of the trunk of that one. The tree in this question produced just fine last year. I've still got some apple butter in the freezer from it. The 3rd tree also did fine last year. Just ate some applesauce we canned from that one last night. I believe all 3 trees were likely planted at the same time. Hopefully I do get a few more years out of the remaining two.
    – mikeazo
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:18
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The one good thing no one cared to mention here is that the "fungus" is the Reshi mushroom (The are no "Immitation" variations of Reshi so it's very easy for the trained eye to spot). You could harvest it, dry it, and sell it for up to $40 a pound. May as well get something good out of it, right? But yes, it almost always grows exclusively on decaying wood so, the limb it's on is dead or dying. You can actually take the limb off, let it continue to decay somewhere cool and moist, and let it continue to spore more Reshi.

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