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What can I do about an area of garden that once had a tree infected by honey fungus?  The tree has long since been cut down, but nothing grows there.  Is the honey fungus still in the soil and what can I put there that will stand any chance of survival.  To add to  complications the site is at the bottom of a slope on clay soil and is partially shady.  I need to sort out this hole in my boundary with something that will grow, screen and hopefully look pretty.  Any ideas?


Honey fungus. What a nightmare! It was in my previous garden. A very knowlegable person gave me a list of plants that are more resilient to it, and gave me the advice to disturb the soil as little as possible so I had some success. Here are some plants from th list:

Ash, beech, catalpa, chaenomles, clamatis, cottinus, eleagnus, hawthorn, Kerria, mahonia, pieris, tamarisk, laurel, larch, rhus, 

These plants could be affected by it. I also uased to go out armed with disposable gloves and a plastic bag and try to catch the fungus early, then dispose of it -.

Garden organic web site was very helpful as well,

Good luck


Christine, you have my sympathy. I once thought I had it in my garden and went into a blind panic, googling for images to compare, peeling back bark to look for mycelium, digging yo see if I could find bootlaces, though I doubt I'd have recognised one if I'd seen it. In the end it turned out to be just a lot of golden capped toadstools that are quite common in woodlands round the base of trees.

At least your honey fungus has been dealt with, and hopefully it is no longer lurking in your soil.

This list of resistant plants may be of some help:

Thanks for the suggestions - and sympethy!  I shall have a good look through and see what is suitable...and what I fancy putting in!


I think I had honey fungus in my garden, something was killing my privet hedge off. I had a diseased cherry tree nearby which I understand is prone to honey fungus. I also had a few old tree stumps still rooted in the ground which again can be the cause of HF.

Heres a photo of my privet hedge that was gradually dying off from the far end, spreading along the hedge each year...

I dug out all the affected privet hedge, and reluctantly decided to cut the cherry tree down and remove as much of its roots as possible. I also dug out the tree stumps. Ive since replanted with new privet hedge which is growing healthily.

Armillatox is supposed to treat areas suffering from HF, but it was recently banned as a pesticide (along with many others) and is now relabled as a path cleaning product to bypass legistlation. See here


can honey fungus kill weeping willows as I think one of my other tress were killed by it and only realised today by reading the RHS magazine and will it continue to spread if we don't cut down the dead tree?


hi Tracey, willows can be killed by honey fungus, it's in the roots so it's getting out the root that takes away the problem. It's distressing when something dies of it but it may not happen. we lost 2 big willows in a very short time, from perfectly ok to dead within a season. but nothing else has gone except perhaps one viticella clematis. The roots are still there, it would be a mammoth task to remove them. Other trees are around, some conifers, hazel, laurel, various shrubs. There's are ashes, about 6 years old, growing up against the stump of both.

The deaths were aboput 6 years ago, fruiting bodies of honey fungus appear every year, across the grass and at the base of the stumps. Nothing else has died though. I'm not complacent about it, I know it hasn't gone but I don't expect to lose all my garden to it.


I also have to live with honey fungus and regularly find the odd 'bootlace' running just under the soil, almost anywhere in the garden (you get to recognise them after a while.)  Although I lost an acer to it last year, overall losses are few and it doesn't stop me growing anything.  I used to have a lot of felled tree trunk arranged around the sides of raised beds but have now gotten rid of most of that as dead wood in contact with the soil is essential to honey fungus as it acts as a home for it.  I would say getting rid of all dead stumps and tree roots is the best thing anyone can do to try and combat this fungus.

Called "chiodini" in Italy they are blanched in boiling water for one minute, drained, have their stalks removed and are then fried in olive oil with garlic, chili flakes, parsley, salt and pepper. Served with spaghetti. Delicious.


But they smell awful, especially when they're going over


Interestingly, the mass of tangled threads they can produce which are sometimes found in compost heaps or piles of leaves are bioluminescent and were (allegedly) used as a form of lighting in times of old.  The mushrooms themselves apparently glow weakly in the dark too (although I've never noticed as my garden is polluted with light from streetlamps. )

Crikey, if the price of electricity goes up much more, I'll keep that in mind.

When I saw LeadFarmer's picture of the privet hedge, I thought it was a picture of my own garden.

Our first symptom was that an old cherry plum tree, laden with fruit, suddenly died during a dry spell. The next year the end of the privet hedge near the tree died. The next year an old damson tree died plus a bit more hedge. The next year more hedge went together with two viburnum bushes and a Solanum Glasnevin (Chilean potato).  The honeysuckle looks sick.  Always this has happened during a dry spell when the diseased roots have been unable to cope.

We are in despair.  The only things that seem immune are the wretched Holm Oak and a big beech tree which the council will not let us remove even though it is far too near to the house.

Our only hope seems to be to put in some disease resistant plants and to make the best of it.  Or we could move to a top floor apartment.....?


My commiserations, LondonColin.  There are several species of Armillaria and some are far more damaging than others - sounds like you have a nasty.  All I'll say is that there is something called Armillatox and if you use it to clean the moss from any paths or patios etc around the affected areas, any accidental overspill into the soil might have a surprising effect.  Do think about the negative effects on wildlife and natural soil organisms before you slosh anything like this soap-based patio cleaner around though.

Mrs Bertie

I have just learned that an almost dead flowering cherry at the bottom of my garden, but actually in the garden below, has honey fungus. The owner blames me for poisoning her tree - not sure how I was meant to do that. It was a lovely tree until about 10 years ago - it must be 50 years old now. Am I likely to lose my fruit trees and bushes backing on to the tree? I have apples, plums, redcurrants, blckcurrants, loganberries and gooseberries. My mint has died just near to the tree.



If you have the tree (including roots) removed, this may help.  Honey Fungus requires a home/base of dead wood to grow from.  If this 'home' is rotten wood within your old cherry tree, complete removal of the tree and roots followed by cultivation of the soil in the area might well rid you of the problem.  If the infected roots aren't removed as well as the tree, it could remain a problem for many years.  You might find this fact sheet (pdf) useful:


Mrs Bertie

The fact sheet is interesting. Thank you. I did say the infected tree is NOT in my garden, but in the hedge bordering my garden with one at the back. The owner refuses to have the tree removed despite being advised by an environmental expert. She just blames me for its demise. Awkward neighbour situation to sort out! I did have all the overhanging dead branches removed last year with her consent even though I was within my rights to remove overhanging branches anyway.


Sorry, I mis-read and missed the bit about it not being in your garden.  Annoying as there's a lot less you can do about it if your neighbour is just going to let things (literally) rot!  One thing which might help is to keep the soil cultivated next to the hedge, effectively creating a barrier between the tree and your garden.  Digging will break any rhizomorphs which radiate out from the tree and try to cross the strip.  The rhizomorphs can't live when disconnected from the main fungal body.  From the pdf you can see that sandy soil inhibits rhizomorph growth whereas peaty soil promotes it so if you dig plenty of sharp sand into the strip it will do two things: keep it easy to regularly dig-over and also help to restrict the spread of the tendrils.  You can probably find annuals which can thrive in the sandy soil of such a protective strip.  Good luck and I hope you don't lose your fruit trees and bushes.


Help!!!!!!  I have just found this thread as i have been researching Honey Fungus. My old pink chestnut tree has it all round the base and its growing out of the bark in places and on the surrounding lawn. I have emailed my tree surgeon to come and have a look. Does any one know how to identify the killer strain? The only dying plant nearby is a Fatisa Japonica, are they suseptable?

Should I remove all of the fungus or will that make matters worse? Worried as it might spread to my surrounding trees.


you can't remove all the fungus gina, only the fruiting bodies. That will make no difference at all. Most woody plants are susceptible to some extent, some more than others. The business end of the fungus works through the roots of trees and shrubs. The fruiting bodies in the lawn will be growing from a root.