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in Problem solving
When is honey fungus not honey fungus?
When you can dig a 2' x 1' trench eight inches deep through the dead privet on which the honey-coloured mushrooms have appeared, cut through two trunk underground, lift them both out, peel back the bark and find no bootlaces in them or in the soil you removed.
'sokay. 'sonly about 50kg of soil.
At least I don't have to dig out and burn a dozen trees (10 privet that died of being 20' tall and 6" apart, 1 little apple tree that's looking fine and 1 stonking huge great 30' pine tree).
So, pretty golden mushrooms. Yay.
Have any of the leaves turned black/brown? My privet suffered from honey fungus and I had to dig out the hedge, as well as a section of healthy hedge, and I also dug out and threw away all the soil. It was a 2 day job!
I didnt see any bootlaces either, but all the other sympotms were there. HF can spread from dead tree stumps or decaying cherry trees. I had both!
I replaced with privet from elsewhere in the garden and fortunately all now seems well.
From this end, they were turning brown and the trees were dying, but that seems to have stopped when I put in the akebia.
Weird, but true. Don't know what happened. Assumed privet didn't like being that exposed, as the hedge was dying from the end. Pruning it right down, cutting wind effect, may have saved it from some stress.
Now I've seen the mushrooms at the other end. Some trees there didn't come back from pruning, but I haven't noticed spreading death among them yet.
This is how mine was looking...
It was dying from the far end, and it was spreading along the hedge each year. There is a product called Armillatox that you can pour onto the hedge that kills the HF, but its now been banned. But the manufacturers have renamed it and called it a path/garden cleaner instead. But im unsure of its new name.
This is it...
Thanks. May just get some of that. Sick of scraping the moss off the front path anyway.
Checked RHS website. Turns out A. gallica is the one that produces "dead giveaway" bootlaces and A. mellea is a bit stealthier about it. Also found white "mushroom skin" under bark on roots from 20cm down, so I guess I'm digging out 1mx0.7mx0.5m after all. Anyone need 100 litres of small rocks and builders' waste?
Think I'll replant with sweet bay, which is kind of resistant, just in case.
Dont forget to apply the solution to 2 or 3 healthy looking stems to the side of the affected stems, as they may well be in the early stages of suffering even if they look healthy.
Rang them today. Got a lot of "You know you're living in a dictatorship, don't you?" but eventually got enough information out of him to learn how to apply it and that the garden centre probably had it. Homebase and B&Q don't list it on their websites, but local GC has it on the shelf. I'm still going to dig that pit and haul out a lot of dead root systems to deny it the resources, but at least the adjacent plants have had some help today.
Still tempted by that sweet bay, but with this approach I may not have to replace the whole hedge with it! The alternative would be something more of an "interest plant" as it's a smaller area (assuming I'm winning now). Big, bushy rose, perhaps, or something like that. I'd love to put a choisya in there, but it's on the north side of a 6' fence, and choisya likes its sunlight.
Time to check out large, shade-loving feature plants!
I would like to have rude words with the builders.
My attempts to dig out contaminated root systems are being hampered by chunks of concrete and tarmac. I'm not sure how big these chunks are, as of the one currently most in my way I've only managed to expose one square foot.
They were, apparently, either tossed against the hedge or just not enough to stop the hedge from growing, because there's a sycamore stump (that took one heck of a lot of killing, so probably wasn't infected at the time) growing up between these chunks of stuff. To rip that out, I need to remove the chunks of stuff. To remove them from the sides not blocked by hedge, pine tree or compost heap, I need to dig out ... ah ... more soil. I'm not sure how much more, but it'll be quite a lot. The ground slopes one way and the slab slopes the other. It's like they cut off a bridge on-ramp and planted a hedge across it.
Location of pit: bottom-right of this picture.
Is it me, or is the front pine tree looking a tad yellow up its left side? If that thing's dying, I've got a job for a tree surgeon, because I am not about to try to drop a 30' pine between the barbecue stand and the flower-bed adn onto the lawn myself!
If its the smaller pine tre to the front then it might come out easier than you think. In the past when removing pine trees I have ...
Chopped it down to leave a 6ft tall stump, then cut all the lower branches off so you left with just the tall stump.
Dig out a circular trench around the tree to reveal the roots, keep digging out and try and get under the root ball. Use a pick axe to chop through the roots in the trench.
Then, using the tall trunk as leverage, push and pull it back and forth which should start snapping the roots.
My HF has just got to the black smelly collapsing stage. I usually remove the fruiting bodies so it doesn't all land on the Cyclamen coum. But this year I forgot or even it stinks
Got all this to look forward to with our pink chestnut tree. Our plan is that once its felled and the tree surgeon has ground out the stump, and we,ve got out as much of the root system as possible, we will rotivate the area and use it for veg growing. Does that sound ok or are we asking for trouble. Will look up the Armillatox product for the surrounding shrubs/trees.
The area will be absolutely fine for veg, Gina. Any annual plant in fact as the fungus takes a relatively long time to affect roots so they won't be there for long enough for it to become a problem. The regular cultivation of the soil which automatically happens when growing veg will also destroy the rhizomorphs (bootlaces) through which it spreads so, in time, you are very likely to be rid of the problem.
In theory, you can block it by having a "trench" of loose soil between infected stump and desired shrubs, 70cm from the shrubs, and churning it up once every two years. I'm not sure I'd want to rely on that.
The problem with trying to rip out that tree is that someone built a barbecue on top of its roots and the roots of the others. Maybe I could dig around behind it to separate it from them, but if I leave infected roots in the ground ... *sigh*
Thanks for that Bob, I hoped that might be the case. I will get some Armillatox for the nearby trees just in case. Have a good weekend
This is a great factsheet Gina - I meant to post the link earlier. From the Guernsey government site (pdf format):
Charlie November wrote (see)
I se what you mean. Perhaps dig the trench close to the bbq and cut through as many roots as you can. Hopefully it wont be disturbed when the tree comes out.