My crabapple tree has dying branchs with bark falling off, green mossy patches and the bottom of the trunk has a large mushroom on it. What can I do to prevent this huge tree from dying. I will remove the dead branches and what should I spray and what do I put at the base of the tree where the mushroom is?

Base of apple tree

  • 1
    Can you add a photo? It's hard to give specific advice without seeing what it looks like. Crabapples don't live forever; the average lifespan is 30-70 years old. It's possible that your tree is too far gone, but if you add a photo maybe we'll see a specific issue you could correct to prolong its life.
    – csk
    Mar 3, 2021 at 20:54
  • 1
    I agree that a photo would be helpful, but in general, if you have any fungal fruiting body attached to the lower trunk of the tree, then that tree is already dead - it just doesn't know it yet.
    – Jurp
    Mar 3, 2021 at 21:06
  • @Jurp Right but to explain more clearly, the mushroom or 'fruiting body' is a tiny piece of the fungus. The majority of the fungus is invisible and is spread across a much larger volume. As an analogy, the mushroom is like an apple and the fungus is like the apple tree.
    – JimmyJames
    Mar 3, 2021 at 21:27
  • That's pretty old for a crabapple anyway. It's probably time to think about removal and replacement, if that's what you want to do.
    – JimmyJames
    Mar 3, 2021 at 21:29
  • No I want to keep it alive. It is huge and beautiful. It looks like a tree trunk with mushroom thing on the side of the base. The same side of the tree has some dead branches that died back to the trunk. 3/4 of the tree is alive so far. It is still winter here in Virginia. I am looking to see if the buds are forming for spring flowers. It has also had cedar rust apple problems forever. It is an old variety. I usually spray neem oil all over it when it buds out. I was going to clear away the mushroom and spray something on the base??? trim dead branches in spring and put black spray on
    – sunshine
    Mar 3, 2021 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


The picture shows a shelf fungus, which indicates that the mycelium of the fungus has spread throughout the trunk. I'm very sorry, but this tree is terminally ill. My opinion is that you should cut it down before it breaks in a storm.

  • If I do not cut it down and just cut the dead branches how much longer can it live. I read some and it said they can live for several years. Should I uncover the area that the fruit is growing. Should I scrap it off
    – sunshine
    Mar 4, 2021 at 0:56
  • 1
    The main part of the fungus is growing inside the trunk. Removing the fruiting body will not change anything. Neither will removing dead branches. Of course you can leave the tree just die slowly without interfering, but you need to consider the fact that it will be more and more unstable. Depending on location, that can be a huge problem and dangerous. The dead branches indicate an advanced stage of decay.
    – Stephie
    Mar 4, 2021 at 2:12

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