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Is this honey fungus?

Thinking of buying a property. Noticed a dead tree stump in garden which current owners cut down because it was “leaning”. Nearby is a healthy holly seedling but beside that a large conifer which is dead. They say it died in the past year. Other plants dont look to be thriving but it’s autumn so difficult to tell. Noticed some fungi which do not look much like honey fungus, (but they may have been affected by frost) however, peeling back bark on tree stump reveals black rhizomorphs. My question is, is this a definitive sign of honey fungus or could it be something else? Pic attached. Thanks!

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,071
    edited October 2019
    Yes it is definitely Honey Fungus and the pic shows a text book example of the 'bootlaces', unfortunately.  I would recommend you have the stump removed and the roots ground out.  HF cannot survive without either a 'home base' of dead wood or a living host, so you might be able to stop it spreading to nearby species if you are lucky.
    Edit: just re-read and realised that it's at a property you're thinking of buying;  I personally wouldn't take the risk.  HF is resident in my garden but it's not a show-stopper and can be lived with if you really like the property.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you Bob. Confirmed my worst suspicions. The main draw was the garden so this is kind of a deal breaker for me. It’s a great pity as the whole street including all the large gardens is listed and there are many protected old trees. Trying to get on top of the problem at this stage would be very difficult. Will keep looking!
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