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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin said the iconic Barton Springs pecan tree, “Flo”, has been diagnosed with the wood decay fungus Kretzschmaria deusta, also known as brittle cinder fungus.

The city said the disease weakens roots and wood at the base of the tree and has been known to cause whole tree failures in trees that otherwise look healthy.

According to the city, there are no effective treatments for brittle cinder fungus, and once a tree is infected with this disease, tree removal is typically recommended to reduce safety risks.

“If removal is necessary, the Department will work to ensure there are opportunities for individuals to honor the tree and will consider options to memorialize this iconic tree through creative reuse of remaining intact wood,” the city said.

The release said on July 6, Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) staff noticed a fungal fruiting body at the base of the tree during a regular inspection. The department sent a sample to the plant diagnostic lab at Texas A&M for analysis.

According to the city, on Aug. 15, PARD received results confirming the diagnosis of brittle cinder fungus.

Following the diagnosis, PARD said it contacted three independent certified arborists to provide a follow-up inspection and independent professional opinions to help guide management decisions.

The city said access around the tree will be sectioned off from pool users as a precautionary safety measure.