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manage honey fungi in wood mulch?  RSS feed

 
Johan Fuglevik
Posts: 4
Location: Norway
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I can now see that an area I mulched with woodchips earlier this summer is full of honey fungi (the thick black strands).
Earlier I have lost many young trees due to damage by water rat Arvicola amphibius followed by quick infection by honey fungi. I know use plastic protection on the young trees but I still lose some trees to honey fungi.

For the future I will try to always add spawn of good fungi when mulching. But it would be hard for me to produce enough spawn.


I don`t want to give the honey fungi the energy from the woodchips to cause more mayhem in the garden. How would you go about killing the honey fungi? Soap, bleach, synthetic fertilizer, burning or physically remove the mulch and soil?
 
John Elliott
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If you have fungi you don't want, you have to overwhelm it with fungi you do want (or can tolerate).

Rake up all the mulch that is infected with the wrong fungi and burn it. Or turn it into biochar. When you replace this with new mulch, you are still going to have your unwanted spores left over to reinfect the area. They need to be crowded out with competition. Go on a mushroom hunt and find lots of mushrooms that you do want. Put these through the blender with some water and inoculate your new mulch with it.
 
Florian Kreisky
Posts: 57
Location: Austria, Central Europe, USDA-Zone 6b
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John Elliott wrote:If you have fungi you don't want, you have to overwhelm it with fungi you do want (or can tolerate).



That's a nice idea, but you won't really stand a chance when you try to overwhelm Armillaria sp., especially with Armillaria solidipes Johan is most probably talking about. These are really competitive. I've seen them supersede other mushrooms quite regularly, even strong species like oyster mushrooms. Also they are able to colonize almost anything, from small leaves to big conifer logs of 100+cm in diameter! Really getting rid of them in a larger area will be an almost impossible task, with the help of other fungi as well as with chemicals

In my opinion it would be best to keep the trees healthy and undamaged, because even Armillaria needs injuries to colonize a tree. I don't know if it works for water rats too, but a plantation of Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) about 10 meters away from the fruit trees, combined with some cats, works good against Microtus arvalis
The mice love the Helianthus roots and if there are enough they don't really care about other sources of food. The cats keep down the population and the remaining ones have enough food with the Jerusalem artichoke
 
John Elliott
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I didn't say it was going to be easy.

Sometimes when we try to put our thumb on the scales of nature, we find that we need to use the thumb of an elephant instead.
 
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