My Friend Had Half His Face Removed Surgically
October 18, 2018
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It’s time to reduce the risk of attack from a potential garden killer. 

All garden debris must be removed as a preventative measure  against an attack of armillaria mellea better known as honey fungus. Focus should be primarily on dead wood, its natural food.  There are many varieties of this fungus depending on your global location.  honey fungus naturally lives in the soils throughout the Anglian region in the U.K. It is natures way of disposing of dead wood through the rotting process.  Honey fungus also has the unfortunate ability to spread throughout an open field and indeed can be considered—under those circumstances—to be the largest organism in existance.

Loss of mature trees, shrubs, and plants, can be attributed to a fungal attack through a comprehensive network of underground rizomorphs (boot laces) that can strangle and short circuit entire root systems before visual discovery of its fruiting body (mushrooms).  These white bootlace like threads are its way of seeking out new food sources and can spread at a rate of one square metre per year. That is,  if it’s successful in its initial hunt for dead wood to thrive on.  This is why it is so important to have all dead wood removed from your garden— and that includes tree stumps.  Boot laces have the ability to penetrate root systems of healthy trees thus starving the tree of nourishment.  Host trees and plants eventually die thus providing rizomorphs with more food sources. and leading to a further spread.                                                                                                                                                                     

Further spread in this manner can eventually kill your entire garden.  Once this stage is reached it is virtually impossible to entirely rid your garden of this attack.  Prevention or control is far better than any attempt of a cure. 

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Importance with checking the base of trees for flattened boot laces under its bark, can’t be over-stressed.  They appear pale yellow or reddish in  colour when first exposed to air, then turn brown to black after exposure.  In this event call in a qualified tree surgeon to determine if tree felling is required.  If that be the case, be sure to also have its remaining stump(s) removed as well.  This is advocated by the Royal Horticultural Society (ref.: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=180)

As stated earlier honey fungus is endemic in the  East Anglia area, and is not selective of  which garden it will attack.   A pro-active approach to the removal of tree stumps and other dead wood is the recognised methed to control the risk of attack. 

I am based next to the Thetford forest.  When the Forestry Commission  harvested  a sector of trees they always uproot remaining tree stumps.  People living in this area were use to viewing a harvested field of row after row of uprooted stumps.  Presently, those stumps are sent off to be processed and burned as fuel for generating electricity.  The point being, great expense was incurred by the Forestry Commission to uproot thousands of stumps.  This certainly would not have been done unless absolutely necessary.

Mike Lish
Mike Lish
An electro-mechanical technician and specialist in tree stump grinding over the last 17 years.

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