HONEY FUNGUS

This disease goes under several names including honey tuft, bootlace fungus etc. The correct name is armillaria root (Armillaria mellea). It attacks many trees, particularly conifers, and can also damage tree and bush fruits as well as roses. Plants growing near woods are very liable to attack and infected tree stumps, wooden fencing and stakes, gateposts etc. can all spread the trouble. Symptoms are black strands (rhizomorphs) which resemble flattened bootlaces or pieces of string —hence the popular name, bootlace fungus. These rhizomorphs are attached to the roots and lower portions of plants and can extend underground for some distance. Surrounding soil should be dug to a depth of 18 in. so that no traces of the fungus are left. Attacked trees etc. must be burnt and any wooden stakes etc. well creosoted before inserting in the ground. Although creosote may damage plants, any risk of honey tuft is far more serious.

From time to time various chemical treatments have been advised but to date there is nothing that can be recommended as foolproof.

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