Is this honey fungus

Crops of golden yellow fungi on our pussy-willow, on sites where branches have been removed in the past ; the death last year of a mahonia growing in the same bed just 5' away, and now a laurel turning black and obviously dying, which is just a foot away.  How deep do I need to dig to find any tell-tale 'bootlaces'? Nothing to be seen in the top 3" of the soil.

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  • Rosie31Rosie31 Posts: 483

    We're plagued with it.  Bootlaces are hard to see;  best to look for the white layer under bark.  It smells strongly of mushrooms.  The toadstools are yellow and they always have that little skirt around the stem (like in Edd's first photo).

    If you've got it, bad luck....but don't panic or despair.  Come back to this forum and fellow sufferers will try to help with advice and experience!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,504

    I agree, if the fungus is actually growing on the pussy willow branches though, it isn't Honey Fungus but something else.  Honey Fungus mushrooms appear from the ground and can be right next to the affected tree/shrub or quite some distance away.  Given that you have other things dying, it's possible that there are several fungi involved and HF may be just one of them (but the most serious.)  If you can post photo's of the various growths it would really help but positive identification is extremely tricky in the best of cases!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    My HF fruiting bodies get about 2, maybe a bit more, foot up the dead tree trunk and have large clusters round the base of the trunk. Most appear on the garden and grass.

    Another pointer for HF, when it turns black and melts down the smell is foul.

    But as Bob says, there'll be lots of different fungi on dead and dying trees.

     

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,504

    I think they do get up a bit further when the wood is dead and rotting, nut.  I've tried to remove all of the dead stumps etc from my garden as the HF needs a lump of rotting wood in the ground as a 'home base' it seems.  Quite a job as my long raised border in the back garden was fronted with a 6" thick, 2' high wall of wood from the remains of a 70ft Ash which came down a few years ago and with which I got creative with a chainsaw.  When I was pulling the sections out, lots of them were 'veined' with HF bootlaces.

    Now I've replaced all of that with treated decking boards, I'm hoping the HF will become less of a problem.  Really hoping!  image

    When I first cut the Ash up, I left about the bottom 10' of the trunk for a year and was rewarded by a massive growth of Silky Volvar (caps of 10"!) which were delicious, but not much of reward if my infestation of HF was the payment!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    The removal of the stumps here is beyond us Bob. I'm not too bothered. The only deaths I can maybe put down to HF, apart from the 2 enormous willows that started it, are a couple of viticellas over an arch. 

    As soon as something dies here I immediately  decide the garden looks better without it. Those viticelllas had become shaded out and didn't flower much.image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,504

    That's really the best way, nut - live with nature rather than trying to outwit it! image

    HF is entirely natural and probably breaks down more woody matter so that it can be recycled into the soil than anything else.  If it didn't exist we might not have any fertile soil!  It's annoying when it gets to a favourite plant/shrub, but it is an opportunity (and excuse to do some plant shopping!) to try something else less prone. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    I can see a few plant fairs coming up this year Bob

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,504

    Verd, from what I've read HF spreads to new areas almost entirely by rhizomes rather than by spores (which would need to settle on dead wood) so as long as you only collected leaves and not twigs I suspect the risk would be very, very low.  But not zero.  Maybe erring on the side of caution is what a certain wise Cornishman is already doing? image

    It's awful to see all of those horrible effects of the storms down your way - my thoughts are with you and everyone else down there (I have friends in zumerrzet, too.) image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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