Brown Rot Fungi

Characteristics: Wood that is a brownish hue with dry spots that crush easily into a powder.

Habitat: Targets softwood like pine, fir, etc.

Other information:

  • Some brown rot fungi can tolerate extremely high temperatures or lower levels of moisture.
  • Often referred to as “dry rot”.

Brown Rot Fungi in Georgia

To an untrained professional, rot of any kind can be extremely difficult to identify! Some things you may notice with brown rot fungi can include: wood becoming a brownish hue or color, you may see cracks or cubical pieces of wood as the wood begins to dry out which crush easily into a powder when touched, and/or leathery-looking wood. This fungus feeds on the cell wall components (cellulose and hemicellulose) of wooden material.

Brown Rot Fungi Habitat

This fungus lives and feeds on softwood: pine, fir, etc.

Brown Rot Fungi Threats or Dangers

The moisture content of the crawlspace must be 28% or greater in order for this fungus to survive. As the fungus grows, the hyphae (thread-like filamentous structures that provide nutrients for fungi) start attacking and breaking down the wood. They break down the inner cellular components of the wood, compromising the structural integrity. After the brown rot is far enough along and begins forming cubes in the wood, it becomes what people often refer to as dry rot. Do not let the term ‘dry’ rot trick you; moisture must still be present in order for this to happen! Dry wood does not rot. These fungi need four things to survive: wood, which will serve as food, optimal moisture at or above 28% moisture content, ideal temperatures between 60-90℉, and oxygen.