London (change)
10 messages
05/05/2014 at 09:29

We have a wooden border made from thick wooden sleepers around the bottom of our raised grassed area. Over the last year, a fungus has grown in one area around the bottom of the grassed area and onto the wood. It is now expanding and eating/rotting the wood.

I don't have a clue about anything like this so was wondering whether anyone can identify the fungus and tell me what I need to do to get rid of it.



05/05/2014 at 09:51

Wood rots when it's in contact with wet soil over a long period. Fungal spores are everywhere, waiting to move in.


05/05/2014 at 09:59

Erm, thanks. I was hoping to be able to identify it and find out how and if it can be treated.

05/05/2014 at 10:10

There's no cure as such.  Pre-treated wood will last longer but will eventually succumb to one of the thousands of types of fungi (only a laboratory could definitely ID which one.)  However, it could last another 5 years before falling apart completely.  The only real solution is replacement - pre-treated wood can last 15 years but if in permanent contact with wet soil it can be much less.  That's why railway sleepers used to be soaked in boiling tar, which makes them last for decades.  Unfortunately, it was found to be rather toxic and carcinogenic, so you can't generally find them for domestic use any longer.

05/05/2014 at 10:21

Thanks, so I guess the only thing would be to replace it and possibly with bricks rather than wood as it sounds like it could easily happen again if we just replaced it with more wood?

Slightly annoying as we had the garden designed and built by a landscape gardener about 4 years ago - you would have thought they would know about things like this!!

05/05/2014 at 10:38

Landscape gardeners do know about this kind of thing, but if the client specifies wood, that is what they use.  It does depend on the type of wood.  Is it oak?


Bricks are more durable but wood looks nice. 

05/05/2014 at 11:04

I agree 4 years is a bit of a short lifetime for a new one, Gillibobs.  It might be that particular piece of timber was already infected.  Do you know the type of wood used, as Welshonion said?  Oak is one of the longest lasting ones.

05/05/2014 at 11:23

I haven't got a clue, we didn't specify any type of wood, or even to use wood in particular that's for sure, it was just the design he came up with and we were happy with how it looked. Our garden is sloping though and any excess water would drain to that particular area so I don't know if that helped to accelerate it.

05/05/2014 at 12:45

In that case I think your idea of using a brick wall to retain the soil in that spot is the best answer, as the excess water is definitely at the root (well.. mycelium ) of the problem.

05/05/2014 at 14:16



BobTheGardener wrote (see)

the excess water is definitely at the root (well.. mycelium ) of the problem.

That's very good Bob

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