Velvet Fungus

Phaeolus schweinitzii


Velvet fungus changes shape as it grows, from cream and yellow lumps into a spreading, sometimes spiraling, brown and orange bracket. The underside of the bracket remains cream or yellow, aging to dark brown when mature.

This is a new import to the southern hemisphere, first noted in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1995. Velvet fungus prefers conifers and causes the classic “butt rot”. Structural roots and the base of the stem are rotted over time, without giving much outward sign of all the activity under ground. The tree gradually becomes unstable in the ground and susceptible to wind-throw, snapping off at the base.

There is no treatment for Velvet fungus available. If the brackets are found we recommend the tree be examined to assess the extent of internal decay and the length of time it can be safely retained.

Commonly seen on: Pines, Cedars, Leyland Cypress, Sitka Spruce, Larch