Fungus growing on sleepers

Hi - I have fungus growing on my sleepers in my gardener. We keep cleaning it off but it keeps coming back and is spreading.  Can anyone advise what we could do to get rid of it (ideally permanently).  I include photos. Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,430
    edited 9 January
    It is just doing what fungus is designed to do , breaking down dead wood in order to turn it into mulch, which is a natural soil improver. 

    The part you can see is the fruiting body, the equivalent of fruit on a plant. The greater part of any fungus is its often unseen “roots and branches”. They were quite probably already in the timber of the sleepers when you bought them.  Now that the fungus finds itself settled and happy it is taking the opportunity to reproduce itself by spores from the part that you can see.

    The only way to stop it really is to dry out the timber (unrealistic) or spray the timber with a fungicide (not guaranteed to kill the whole fungus and not very friendly to the biosphere).

    Sleepers are often sold as “treated” i.e. soaked with creosote type chemicals, which kill any pre existing fungi in the timber.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 2,861
    It's turkey tail fungus, one of the prettiest bracket fungae in my opinion. What you're seeing is the fruiting body of the fungus that looks to be thoroughly ingrained in those sleepers. I take it they were untreated oak or similar hardwood? I don't think there's much you can do about it apart from keeping the wood as dry as possible and keep cutting the visible parts back. I'd leave it though and enjoy the natural look, makes a nice contrast to the plastic grass ;)
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,054
    I think pansy is right, nice pictures by the way.
    These are not by any chance the one you get in the larger DIY stores?
    Pine or similar with modern supposed water based treatments, are not like the old treated ones or the old more exotic hard wood ones from reclamation and specialist old sleeper yards.
    Apologies if it is not the ones I am thinking of. Just that they are not that heavy and short lengths, so could be moved and treated if you are able or wanted.

    Afraid the best you can probably do is scrape it off before it fruits but you may well find as pansy says it will come back it is already settled in.

    If Armillatox is still available you could try that.
  • Thank you for the responses. They're oak sleepers - and were fitted by a gardening firm who built a sleeper border and not sure whether they were treated. I have however just emailed the gardener who fitted them to see what they say/suggest.

    I do agree the fungus looks pretty - but with 2 small boys (who love poking things!) and 2 cats I'm keen to get rid. 

    And 'Wild Edges' apologies about the fake grass! I'm not necessarily a fan but we've a tiny garden in London that's sunken and we've killed off 2 lawns in the last 7 years so this seemed like a good option (and makes a good all-weather footy pitch!!) :D 
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 2,861
    If it helps turkey tail isn't harmful and is thought to have a whole load of benefical properties. I'd get it properly IDed before nibbling any though. 
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,054
    It's turkey tail fungus, one of the prettiest bracket fungae in my opinion.
    It is very pretty and I knew it reminded me of something, I thought I was being daft. But it is like Turkey tails :)
    Sorry rache I'd no idea they were oak, posh sleepers and posh fungi :)
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 2,861
    I've got a photo somewhere of a huge one I found that really looked like a tail full of feathers, can't find it anywhere though :(
  • I'll look up turkey tail fungus - it sounds interesting! I was worried it could be honey fungus as we did have problems with this in that area of the garden when we first moved in. Thanks so much
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,054
    @wild edges. It is always the way!
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