Honey Fungus

Armillaria luteobubalina


This native Australian fungus can be hard to spot in its early stages. Entering a tree’s roots, it can cause dieback in the canopy, yellowing-off and thinning out of foliage, as well as dark scars and splits on the tree stem. The tell-tale signs are clumps of golden brown to olive coloured mushrooms at the base of the stem or over large roots in autumn, and fans of white mycelium (a flat growth of fungal tissue) under the bark.

Honey Fungus causes root rot in many species of trees and as the roots are attacked the trees’ ability to carry water to the canopy decreases. The fungus lives in soil and is usually introduced by infected material (new plantings, new soil, contaminated mulch) being brought into to the garden.

There is no treatment available but there are some options for controlling the spread of the fungus. It has been estimated that Honey fungus can survive in the soil for upwards of 20 years. It is vital that infected material – the tree, any mulch, soil or root matter – is removed under controlled conditions to prevent spreading the infection.

If you suspect your tree may have an Armillaria infection, please take photos of any mushrooms, both the caps and stems, for identification purposes and contact an arborist.

Commonly seen on: Eucalypts