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Hello gina, I think the key to your problem may be in the word "old" that you used to describe your chestnut tree.

Our garden is riddled with honey fungus but I've found that the plants that fall victim to it are generally old or in some way weakened. Also, I've found that by avoiding deep cultivation of the soil around shrubs I lessen the chances of scratching the host plants' roots and the fungus getting a foothold in the hosts' root systems.

Plants that die are best removed as completely as possible. I then sometimes plant a new plant in the same site but first put it in a bottomless bucket filled with compost. This gives the new plant a chance to put its roots down first into clean compost and later more deeply into the soil below the level of the bootlaces.

Just a theory I have. I don't know if other people have tried that.


Thanks waterbutts. The inflicted tree stands alone in the middle of a lawned area but is near a large cedar and a monkeypuzzle, both of which I would hate to loose. I dont do much with the surrounding area as far as deep digging, so hopefully, if we leave it undisturbed the chestnut can stay.Will get my treeman to look at it anyway.

Like the bottomless bucket idea, will use that to replace the Japonica.

Have a good weekend folks, hope it doesnt rain as forcast!!

You obviously aren't in the Midlands or N of England. It's been bucketing down here since breakfast time.

Good luck with the plants.

Are the spores from the growths know to aggrevate asthma and hay fever? If so is it best to remove them or wait until they die off naturally


Hi, everyone just found this feed as have the honey fungus and was searching for advice. It has killed my rose boarder! Just wondered if anyone knew if you can re plant roses (that  havent been killed yet) that are in the infected boarded elsewhere? Or will this transport the fungus to the rest of the garden? I think mine has come from an old ash tree that had to be taken down and the stump has been taken out as much a possible- am very worried it will spread to the rest of the garden! Also, does it ever go away or does it just get worse?

Any help or advice would be much appreicated! 

Thanks very much.




To add further to my previous post, when I discovered I was loosing my privet hedge to HF I did some research and learnt that HF lives on dead tree stumps/roots and certain plants are more prone to it than others. Cherry trees are very vulnerable to HF. 

I was sad to learn this because I had a lovely cherry tre in my garden, quite close to the privet hedge


I noticed this tree was decaying in places and suspected this was the cause of the privet dying. I made the brave decision to remove the tree before I lost my hedge, this is how it looked after the mini digger had gone to work..

 Heres some photos of the decaying parts of the cherry tree..


After removing the cherry tree, a couple of dead stumps nearby and digging out and replacing the affected sections of privet hedge, my hedge is now doing very well. But I still miss that lovely cherry tree.


Mrs MacGregor

Oh dear - it seems it is the time of year for this. I pruned our two lovely old gnarled deep 'ruby-mauve' lilacs over the last two years ( there was a third in the neighbour's garden). The first of the trio to go was the neighbour's - it just died and fell over quite suddenly. Last year the first-pruned of ours suddenly took ill and died and this year our second one, after flowering valiantly has similarly suddently succumbed. I belatedly suspected honey-fungus when reflecting on suddeness of their demise and checked for threads and white under the lower bark, was half-convinced, but last week, now that the weather has dampened, sure enough the fruiting bodies are plentiful at the base of each tree. (Last year I removed the first tree top, but not the base, little knowing that lilacs were quite susceptible). I did not get rid of the trunk - it went into the woodpile...I fear deeply that I have contaminated a large area of the garden. There is an old pear tree to one side of the demised stumps and an old Bramley apple the other....a Magnolia not far off...and peeping over the other neighbour's fence where half a huge old chestnut tree has been removed (the remaining trunks too are decaying), I spy patches of fruiting bodies of ?? could it be the same fungus??. It is not contiguous with the lilacs. Oh me oh my... should I excavate and chop and dump? (is that polite?) - not easy to burn the wood in this damp weather - but it is quite a lot of material now. I am loathe to move it about in the garden too much. Will my tools infect other plants I wonder? Off to work I go...


Any dead trunks left in the ground are the ideal home for HF and it's from this base that it sends out rhizomorphs ('bootlaces') which, when they come into contact with living roots, infect other plants.  If you place your woodpile on bricks etc so that the wood isn't in contact with the ground, any HF in the wood will die as the wood dries out.  I wouldn't worry about infecting things via garden tools - it's not like a virus or bacteria and doesn't spread by contact.  The specialist sites say that even the spores of the fruiting bodies have negligable effect in spreading the fungus - it's the rhizomorphs which cause the damage.

How soon can I lay a turf lawn over an area of soil that was infected with honey fungus. I have removed a small tree and all of the root system that was afected


Honey fungus won't affect turf. It lives on woody plants

I have honey fungus all over my garden. I treated my trees and shrubs with Armillatox and definitely noticed an improvement after two years. E.g. half a lilac died rapidly, the other half still thrives after regular treatment. However, an unpleasant neighbor reported me to the officials (I live in the EU but not the UK)making it impossible to hide my actions  - the smell is instantly recognisable. There are rhizomes wherever I dig and I expect all woody plants to die within a few years. The neighbors probably have HF too but either do not care or say it is "just natural" . Should I sell the garden and run? Replacing all soil and all plants is unrealistic. Can one live and garden despite HF? Is my garden doomed? Lastly: what unleashes HF? It is everywhere but only at certain times under certain conditions becomes lethal.


Hiya, I'm in the beginning stage of renovating our garden and have started cutting back some of the shrubs that are to be kept and moved to different positions. It was until cutting back a Weigela shrub when some of the old growth broke away from under the soil line (with very little effort but there was fresh buds on the stems despite it being rotten) when I realized something was amiss. Then found the bootlace under some of the bark of the old growth and it made sense why the shrub has been flowering like mad over the past two years.

I was suspicious after finding some dark fibrous root like structures to be fungal rhizomorphs the other month whilst digging out some raspberry canes from what used to be an old veg plot (Base plan: Back garden - section 2) and then finding fungal activity on the stump of a willow (the willow was missed out from the plan as it wasn't a fixed feature and in the process of removal) that had self seeded in the top right hand corner of the plot. At the time I wasn't sure if it was honey fungus or not. But after finding these bootlaces its become clear that this species of fungus is in our garden.

I'm not sure how big the spread is as the privet hedge that separates the two sections of the garden doesn't seem to be affected nor does the Prunus (Back garden - section 1) and the old apple trees next door. The Lilac that is under the Prunus was thought to have given up the ghost about 15 years ago due to rot and has somehow come back to life since. But never seen one honey fungus mushroom since having the house and touch wood that the fungus is establishing itself when we've found it.

The problem is if it is in the soil of the veg plot, on the final plan the privet partition on the right is to be removed and replaced by a decorative Malus, along with some Rhodes and a Magnolia. Which are susceptible to honey fungus and may end up having problems later in the near future if planted in infected soil. I would like to ask if it is possible to treat the soil in any way to control the fungus and will cuttings from newish growth of the Weigela be healthy enough to propagate?

I've attached the base plans to show what our garden looks like and where the Weigela shrub is in situ. Sorry that some of section 2 plan is missing as my scanner can only fit A4. The corner where the Buddleja is on the section 2 plan is roughly north.

I'll be grateful for any suggestions and advice, even if it is bad news so I can rethink my plant list.

Last edited: 16 January 2017 16:13:01

My question is whether it is OK to use home made compost for young apple trees, that contains some disconnected thin honey fungus rhizomorphs. Over the past 5 years, I have an established an orchard of 26 trees in part of our garden, mainly different eating apple varieties. The trees are cropping well and are all healthy. As with many other contributors to this thread, the garden - indeed the whole village - is riddled with honey fungus. But, we have lost only five trees to it over the last ten years - mainly old except for one beautiful acer - and just accept we have to live with the honey fungus. We are organic, and have so far fertilised the orchard trees only with copious quantities of garden compost in circular recesses round the tree bases. The latest batch of compost, though, is infested with honey fungus rhizomorphs. I think it probably mainly comes from a largish clump of thick black bootlaces that inadvertently got into the New Zealand box, probably from mowing the grass near an old plum tree that died from the fungus and was removed. Obviously I've removed all I can see from the compost - but there is no way I can get rid of all bits of fine red filaments. On 16 September, 2013, in this forum, BobTheGardener said "The rhizomorphs can't live when disconnected from the main fungal body". SO, I THINK I'm probably OK to go ahead and use this compost on the trees - it's just that actually feeding trees with compost I know contains some honey fungus seems a very big step! I guess I'm seeking reassurance, please, that BobTheGardener's statement is correct. For what it's worth, our gardener agrees. His comment was: "If one of those trees dies from honey fungus, it's much more likely to have come through the soil from the old plum tree than from compost placed round the base.

I've just moved into a house and been told by the neighbour that hf is what is killing the dividing hedge and has killed whatever he has put there. My question is, if it is unwise to plants shrubs in this area, would I also be mad to use the space to site my compost heap? Will the compost be infected from below? Thanks. 


I found lots of HF rhizomorphs in an old compost heap but that one hadn't been turned for years.  If you turn it regularly there should be no problem.  The factsheet (pdf) in the link below has lists of woody plants which are susceptible, resistant or immune to HF, so have a look through those and see if you like any of the resistant/immune ones:

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