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Please help identify tree disease


we have had a beautiful lilac tree for over 25 years, this year it blossomed as usual but we noticed the leaves were turning brown from the tips early. In the last 2 weeks a fungus has appeared on the trunk and some branches which looks like expanding foam in texture shape and colour (pale yellow) and now it's turning beige. We've been told it may be honey fungus, but can't find a picture on the internet of honey fungus that looks anything like this, can anyone help confirm? Or offer a second opinion as I know if it is indeed honey fungus i need to fell and burn the tree - but it's such a beautiful thing I don't want to base it's fate on a single opinion - I have attached pictures, thank you in advance.


P.S - I am a novice gardener so any advice in idiot format is greatly appreciated ????



  • MuddyForkMuddyFork Posts: 435

    I do not know what it is but I do know that it is not Honey Fungus.  

  • Sue595Sue595 Posts: 4

    Thanks muddyfork, that makes me feel a little relieved; the closest image I can find on the internet similar to our issue is something called "chicken in the woods"!?!?! But the juvenile stage, I appreciate you taking the time to answer, could I ask why you are sure it is not honey fungus?

  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    Hi Sue, 

    I do not know what the growths are on your Syringa, although I do know that they are definately not honey fungus.

    See the RHS advice profile for honey fungus photos and symptoms: 

    My only guess is that your plant could be suffering from a disease and these are perhaps saprophytic fungi (fungi that live on dead/dying tissue) living off of it because of this.

    Or perhaps a type of slime mould?

    Don't take my word for it though!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,076

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Sue595Sue595 Posts: 4

    Ive just got back from work and this is what it looks like today... it's gone from yellow into what looks like the start of a shelf type fungus? I don't know if that helps anyone - thank you all for your advice so far ?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,076

    That's interesting ... but I don't know what it is. 

    What I do know is that very few fungi actually kill healthy trees ... most feed on already decaying wood, so I've a feeling that your tree was already suffering from an internal rot by the time that fungus took hold.  

    What is certain that every lost tree is a new planting opportunity, so I'd be scouring the catalogues and websites deciding what to replace your lilac with. image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,212

    Looks like a bracket fungus to me.

  • Sue595Sue595 Posts: 4

    Thank you dovefromabove and Berghill - image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,638

    Your lilac looks rather bashed and battered and that will make it an easy target for such fungae which establish on wounded wood.   There isn't much you can do once it's infected other than remove the brackets and dispose of them before they ripen enough to release millions of spored that can infect other trees.

    Have a good look at the lilac, and any other trees in your garden, and make sure you remove damaged branches with a clean cut and then let them repair themselves.  Do not use wound paint.

    Last edited: 04 October 2017 17:20:56

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,076

    Just a thought ... lilac sometimes respond well to being cut hard back ... virtually coppiced ... it would depend on whether yours is a grafted form or not, but if the tree is dying what is there to lose?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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