Honey Fungus on Bramley Apple Tree
Can somebody confirm that my tree has honey fungus.
Honey fungus usually has black bootlace like threads beneath the bark of affected trees. It also usually has lots of mushrooms sprouting from the tree, have you seen either of these?
edited September 2021
The creamy white mycelium beneath the bark in the area where root meets stem is a strong indicator of honey fungus - but is not a definitive indicator.
As Steephill says black 'bootlaces' may also be present under the bark or in the soil immediately around the tree. There may also be fruiting bodies (toadstools) appearing soon around the base of the trunk. However, my understanding of these 2 indicators are that they are usually only present when the HF is well established - but I might be wrong.
I have honey fungus affecting several small trees and shrubs (a couple have died) and I have never seen a bootlace or a fruiting body - but I know HF is present in my soil.
For me the indicators of honey fungus are when a previously (apparently) healthy tree or shrub suddenly starts to look sickly (ie leaf discolouration and loss and small branches suddenly dying) combined with the appearance of the white mycelium beneath the bark which always smells very strongly of mushrooms.
Roses and apples are very susceptible to HF so your diagnosis may well be correct. Do, however, check for the mushroomy smell plus the other signs listed above before you condemn the tree.
If the tree is looking poorly I'd take it out along with as much root as you can get at and dig the soil around the site which can help to break up any bootlaces. If the tree is looking healthy and you don't have other precious, vulnerable plants nearby, you may choose to keep it a while longer.
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