• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

How to redesign a small food forest after parasitic fungus contamination ?  RSS feed

 
Erwin Decoene
Posts: 102
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello

I had some bad news today. My wallnut tree which dominates the western end of my town garden is seriously ill with honey fungus (Armillaria mellea) and root rot.


Not only will i loose the tree but the wood is of no use as both fungi cause white rot. The wood becomes to soft to do anything with it. That's bad news because that tree is the base of my little food forest. The tree surgeon cautions against planting new trees for at least 10-15 years. His line of reasoning is that new trees coming in always have some root damage making them vulnerable for parasitic fungi. Luckily my new espalier apple trees fall outside the safety zone but my elderberries and most redcurrants and blackberries are in the danger zone (the radius of the crown + 3 m).

Any thoughts and/or experiences on/with this problem

Any ideas on using the diseased wood ? - burning is not an option. The recomended way of getting rid of it is to let it decay naturally but that may prohibit other use of that part of the garden.

Are there fruit trees with resistance against those fungi? The shade area under the tree is home to several springtime perenials, stinging nettles, etc... I don't want to loose them - so i hope to have some shade tree there soon. Of course preferably a food or nutt producing tree.

What could be done to eliminate (the treat of) those fungi from the soil ? Any plants good to combatting those fungi ? For example; Could i plant a cherry tree there in combination with beneficial plants that protect the cherry tree?

Any soil amendments that improve conditions?

I  have a little experience growing trees from pots - has anybody used that to circumvent the wounded root vulnerability ? Results ? Experiences ? What to avoid doing ?
My gardens size is limited and i don't have lots of room to experiment.




 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4068
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
186
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Erwin, I have added your topic to a couple of other forums to see if some of our resident fungi experts will have some advise for you.
 
Erwin Decoene
Posts: 102
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Miles
 
Xep Arkonatitlan
Posts: 21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
in my area its the avocados dying off due to fungus. This is a climate change problem. I have had somesucces aplying ormus.  I asked our local fungus experts telling them my solution to a bad fungus is a good one, but got no definate answer. The other answer is plant mangos now and avocado- coffee no more.
 
Skandi Rogers
Posts: 43
Location: Denmark 57N
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Depending how big the tree was not all of the wood will be rotten and some could be used, otherwise you're going to be waiting a very long time for it to decompose, we have some elm here that sucumbed to Dutch elm disease, that was over 15 years ago, and only one stump has rotted enough to be pushed over, most of the wood is still lying around (the bits that were simply too knotty to burn) I would suggest you put the wood up either for sale or for free for someone else to burn, especialy as it was infected you do not want that lying around honeyfungus will happily continue to grow on the dead wood.
 
Erwin Decoene
Posts: 102
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey Skandi & Xep

Xep. You are likely correct that climate change is a factor. The row of old trees at the end of the gardens in my row of houses has thinned substantially since i arrived in 2004. Wallnutt, sweet chestnust and ash are loosing ground.
Given an - in retrospect - amateur treesurgeon and lots of fungusspores any tree has a higher risk of succumbing to parasitic fungi.

Skandi. The tree is probably 75 to 100 years old, might even be older. The base of the stem is damaged by root rot - so i can't leave it standing. The tree is ± 15 m high at present. As you say the honeyfungus would continue to eat the dead wood. Having it removed will be a costly affair. Almost, no acces for mechanical tools. So we have to haull it away piece by piece. I'll have to remove most of it.

Avocados are not yet an option in our climate here altough i have one growing from a seed in my wifes garden. So perhaps i'll give that one a chance in that spot. The avocados chances are minimal as is, so he might trive there as well as in my wifes garden. Perhaps avocados have exceptional resistance to honey fungus.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3679
Location: Anjou ,France
177
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow that's a real loss as such a tree potentially must have provided a lot of nuts if it is anything like the ones we have here in North France .
I am surprised that it's being killed by honey fungus I had not come across this before I wonder if something else is/was stressing the tree to make it susceptible to such a common fungus .
As for global warming being to blame not so sure about that as Walnuts are a big crop in the south of France and it's a lot warmer there
As for a replacement .... I wonder about a fig , if it's in a sheltered spot fig are taxonomically very different to most other trees and thus might not be so susceptible .
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3679
Location: Anjou ,France
177
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a list from the RHS
May be of help
https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/pdfs/honey-fungus-host-list.pdf
As I guessed figs are on the unlikely to suffer from honey fungus list
 
Erwin Decoene
Posts: 102
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David

You are correct - the tree gave me up to tree 25 kg bags of walnutts a year. Actually there was more but that was for the local wildlife. I gave most of my harvest away as i was single then. Luckily there are more walnutts in the area so i can get some from gathering those in public places.

A tree trimming intervention in 2012 is the main culprit in my view. With perfect retrospection I now know the guy was inept at what he did. Since then i got to know some serious tree surgeons.

The tree is not only infected by honey fungus - that was just the easiest to recognize. I intend to post foto's later on to show the decline of the tree. Perhaps it will be of use to somebody else.

Erwin
 
Xep Arkonatitlan
Posts: 21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Of course avocados are not neseceraly the answer for you, they are whats dying off in the central Guatemalan highlands. My long term answer is to plant varieties from lower elevations, warmer climate. I have watched the climate change as told to me by the oranges, lemons, mangos and manderines getting better, and more. Of the fifty diferent kinds of fruit tree I have tried, 12 species are productive, 18 give fruit, 33 are aive.
 
stephen lowe
Posts: 54
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
what about applying other biology that would predate the fungi or out compete it. I have used Actinovate before (the commercial name for a Streptomyces species) and it is pretty successful against root rot and listed for many others. There is also a company called Microbe Life that makes a number of plant probiotics and I know does a good amount of work with the citrus industry. With all of these products I would recommend stretching them by brewing them into an aerated compost tea. But it may provide the boost you need to get over the hump and establish the biology that will protect the rest of your forest.
 
I love a good mentalist. And so does this tiny ad:
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23444/digital-market/digital-market/Earth-Sheltered-Solar-Greenhouse-Book
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!