What is Shoestring Root Rot?

Shoestring root rot remains one of the most treacherous of enemies to many trees. Of course, shoestring root rot will never topple human beings as Public Enemy Number One of trees, but it is still a major danger. The name shoestring root rot is derived from the thin black cables that stem through the decaying roots of the tree. These so-called shoestrings are the pathway by which shoestring root rot disease is carried from one tree to another.

Once the shoestring gets to a spot where the wood and the bark of the tree remain joined it breaks up into exceptionally thin white strands called mycelium. The mycelium begin to dissolve the wood for the purpose of feasting and they will continue to eat up the wood until they are absolutely overwhelmed. The bodies of the fungus that are produced are a rather nasty looking yellow, resembling honey that looks like it’s been left to rot in the sun for about fifteen weeks. This particular fungus looks like a really scaly mushroom and can range from two to nearly six inches wide. If you are thinking that the fungus produced during shoestring root rot is not terribly safe to eat, you’ll be surprised to find that the mushrooms produced by the effects of shoestring root rot are actually entirely safe to eat and, in fact, are among the most tasty and delectable wild mushrooms you will ever consume. They do not, however, provide much in the way of hallucinogenic fun. Despite the fact that the mushroom fungus produced by shoestring root rot makes for good eats, the disease itself is thought to be responsible for the devastation of more European trees than any other tree disease in history.


Out in the great Pacific Northwest where most of America’s toughest timber comes from, shoestring root rot has been a prevalent nuisance for a century. In fact, shoestring root rot is a primary cause for the devastation of trees in Washington and Oregon. Shoestring root rot is a disease that seems to have something of a sweet tooth as it loves to attack such plants as apples, apricots, and citrus trees. In addition to trees, raspberries and blackberries bushes are also susceptible to the ill effects of shoestring root rot. If you are looking to a plant a tree in your back yard that you don’t have to carry any worries about infestation, then you would be wise to consider a fig tree or pear tree. Oddly, these two fruit trees seem to be resistant to the ravages of shoestring root