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Wooden Warts on a Beech Trunk?

NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
Our lovely, red leaved beech tree has a nice smooth trunk about 40cm diameter at a guess. It's smooth except for warts. These are rounded, pointing slightly downwards with a slight point to the lower edge. More rounded than anything. About 1cm in size. They're all around the lower trunk but mostly on the one side. I'd say the North side. These snap off easily and they have a smooth, bare wood at the snap point.

What are they and anything to worry about? If they all got snapped off what would that do to the tree?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    They may be the beginning of aerial roots.  Have a look at this:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
    I don't think so because it's not fully mature I think. The trunk is like a perfect specimen of a copper beech. No flaws in it apart from kind of wooden, devil's toenails.

    I did wonder if its a parasitic organism like a scale insect or wasp larvae that got covered by wood of the tree for protection? I don't know but I did see something on the woodland Trust website about a scale insect and a funghi combining to form growths of wood on trees and woody plants common on plums I think it said.

    I was surprised at how easy it was to snap off and how clean the trunk looked. It only had a light spot where it was. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,874
    edited June 2021
    Any chance of some photos?

    The first thing that comes to mind is some type of Daldinia fungus ... like Cramp Balls/King Arthur's Cakes on Ash trees ... apparently there's a type that grows on beech, but I've not been able to find any images ... so far

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

  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 939
    Does it look like this? It’s being studied in the US — well a university study on the iNaturalist app

    Cambridgeshire, UK
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
    Not really like those growth being studied in USA,  or like the daldinia fruit bodies in the link. 

    Best description I can give is they're shaped a bit like the dome of an old steam train behind the funnel. A small cylinder with a dome top. All made up of wood exactly like the beech trunk.  Light grey bark on it and light,  beech wood colour within the growth when snapped off. It looks simply like the tree has blistered its own wood and bark out of the tree. Snaps off so easily.  Mostly on the south face and a few on he north face but not really east or west. They're only low down on the tree. 

    This tree is a truly fine specimen of a copper beech tree. Lovely silver grey bark,  straight up trunk,  branches spreading out and slightly down but it's not fully mature I think because it's still taller than wide. I've seen majestic old beeches in woodland near Staveley and they're wider than tall with trunk metres across. Branches go out and down lower ones down to the ground or nearly. 

    This one is still competing for light so growing taller still. Much better specimen than all the other copper beeches in neighbouring gardens. There's one in gardens either side of me possibly down the whole row of similar houses. 

    We're thinking of getting someone in to inspect and raise the crown for more ground light. Plus the lower branches have leaves starting to look a bit green instead of copper red. Not enough light to them perhaps? 

    If we get that done I need to know it's fully healthy. I think we have only healthy trees as our neighbour told us a storm a few years back rattled through and took out anything weak. Including a leylandii in our garden and another tree. One was big and took out a few smaller trees out too.
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