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Now is the time to reduce the very real risk of attack of a garden killer by removing all degradable organic debris—and that also includes tree stumps.

The following is meant as an overview of this dreaded fungus, and not as a technical writing.  Organic garden refuse is the food of fungus, and more specifically, of honey fungus (armillaria mellea). There are at least a dozen known varieties of this fungus throughout temperate and tropical climates.  Here in the UK, and so it seems especially so in the Anglian region, h.f. naturally lurks within soils throughout this area. Fungi is natures dustbin by rotting and breaking down organic matter.  Honey fungus, takes it a step further.  Once It will get a hold in your garden, and rapidly spreads beneath soil.   It will strangle and then feed upon the root systems of virtually any plant or tree within its ever expanding reach. Indeed, it can cover an entire field, to be considered as natures largest living organism.

H.F. spreads by sending out a network of white thread like tendrils called rhizomorphs. These are commonly called boot laces. They change colour on contact with air as they travel up the base of a tree under its bark.  Rhizomorphs are its way of seeking out food sources. They can extend themselves at a rate of one meter per year.   These “boot laces” have the ability to penetrate and strangle root systems thereby creating its own food supply. They will continue to spread further, and further until trees and plants are strangled and consumed throughout your garden.  Discovery of these “boot laces” at an early stage is very important.  It will allow you to take action before they send up fruiting bodies (mushrooms).  Any sign of their mushrooms means it has become well established in your garden, and will be extremely difficult to control. (You will never actually get rid of it once it reaches that stage) however any action to slow down this garden killer will stop its spread.  Each year you should check for flattened rhizomorphs beneath any loose tree bark at its base. Rhizomorphs appear pale yellow or red when first exposed to air, then turn brown to black. Have your tree examined by a qualified tree surgeon.

Taking such a pro-active approach at an early stage cannot be over emphasised. Honey fungus  is not selective of which gardens it will attack.  Vigilance with elimination of  tree stumps, dead wood, and any other degradable debris laying about is the recognized method, as prevention is far easier than cure.  Take a hint from the experts.  The Forestry Commission who manages Thetford forest devote a great deal of time and effort uprooting tree stumps after harvesting a forest sector for its timber.

Get rid of your tree stumps and reduce the risk of a garden killer.  Call Mike Lish at Blitz-A-Stump 07931754142 or  info@blitz-a-stump.co.uk

Mike Lish
Mike Lish

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

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