getting rid of honey fungus

I've read some bumpf online and it says the only way to get rid of honey fungus is to dig up everything that is infected and get rid of all the soil as well.  Great but....

....when we bought our house nearly 6 years back the previous owners who were obviously wonderful gardeners had left a huge stump in the lawn.  Didn't bother us because they'd also left a huge planter on top of the stump and it seemed a perfect pedestal for it.  Now the stump is only about 3 inches above the ground but it's about 2 feet across.  I never thought to ask them why they took the tree down, or considered why it would have been allowed as I'm certain there would have been a protection order on it - all the very large, old trees in the neighbourhood have TPOs.  

So occasionally we've spotted some fungus on the stump and never thought anything about it.  

About 2 years after moving in a japanese maple about 6-7 feet away started to get droopy and in the following 18 months more and more of it died.  I didn't make any connection but I now suspect it was due to honey fungus migrating from the stump.  

The gardener chap pointed out that another nearby shrub is looking off - it's a varigated leaf thing, yellow and green but has taken on a pink tinge in parts and will likely die completely in the next year.  I don't love it so won't be bothered but if it's honey fungus as suspected then we've got a big problem. 

I'm now thinking that it was the fungus that killed the tree and so that's why it was taken down.  It's unfortunate that a more thorough job wasn't done.

So what do I do?  I can't imagine that getting rid of the stump will be that easy.  Given the size of what's there I suspect the root system must be substantial and to get rid of that would mean digging up most of the lawn and surrounding gardens.  Obviously I would think we also need to pull out the dying shrub and maybe even ensure that there's nothing left of the japanese maple roots.  

I also think that this might be too big a job for a local independent 2 chaps garden service - they're more the strim, mow and prune sorts rather than being arborists.  

Any thoughts on how extensive/easy this would be, who should do it, and, even vaguely, how much dealing with it might cost?
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Comments

  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,285
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    Any toadstools around the stump?
    Any white strands on the stump?

    While I've read it can travel and affect nearby plants I had it in a 90yr old plum tree and it didn't affect anything else.
    I chopped  the affected branches off and it still produce some new growth and leave and plums. I left the house before finding out what would happen next - but it was a few years between finding and moving.
    I was also told it was in a large conifer and it would die but it didn't. That was someone who wanted to charge for removal.

    The "varigated leaf thing, yellow and green but has taken on a pink tinge in parts" could be a Pitisporum. I had one near the plum and it did take on a pinkish tinge but didn't die.

    Photos of the stump and shrubs you think may be affected would be very helpful - as the saying goes :D



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  • KajiKita
    KajiKita Posts: 3,178
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    There are people who use stump grinders - kind of a self powered mini tractor with a big chewing grinding thing on the front of it that mulches the stump down to chippings. It does reduce the fertility of the area for a while (one season) whilst the chips are rotting down, but after that I think it makes a really good soil conditioner. When I had three huge pine trees taken down here when we moved in I had the stumps ground out as a separate operation by a different contractor recommended by the guy who took the trees down. 

    Honey fungus is usually characterised by black ‘bootlaces’ of the fungus in the soil around the stump or any affected plants. Have you seen this? 
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  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,176
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    Pittosporum is resistant to honey fungus. There's a list here

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/pdfs/honey-fungus-host-list.pdf
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 12,985
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    edited 23 December 2023 at 9:23AM
    I'm very old and years ago armillatox was used to stop honey fungus. However, with EU legislation it is no longer licenced for this but is available for cleaning patios / paths etc
    If you use it for it's licenced patio cleaning purpose, try to avoid areas where honey fungus is present, or you may kill the fungus >:)

    Link posted for historical reference purposes only, certainly not as advice


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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,208
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    twopenny said:
    Any toadstools around the stump?
    Any white strands on the stump?

    The "varigated leaf thing, yellow and green but has taken on a pink tinge in parts" could be a Pitisporum. I had one near the plum and it did take on a pinkish tinge but didn't die.

    Photos of the stump and shrubs you think may be affected would be very helpful - as the saying goes :D
    KajiKita said:
    There are people who use stump grinders - kind of a self powered mini tractor with a big chewing grinding thing on the front of it that mulches the stump down to chippings. It does reduce the fertility of the area for a while (one season) whilst the chips are rotting down, but after that I think it makes a really good soil conditioner. When I had three huge pine trees taken down here when we moved in I had the stumps ground out as a separate operation by a different contractor recommended by the guy who took the trees down. 

    Honey fungus is usually characterised by black ‘bootlaces’ of the fungus in the soil around the stump or any affected plants. Have you seen this? 
    @twopenny
    yes to visible mushrooms, haven't noticed any white strands.

    @KajiKita
    haven't seen any bootlaces but like the white strands I'll have to have a dig about and a good look.  will see if i can get some photos too.  I'd be concerned about grinding the stump down - wouldn't that just scatter the fungus about to spread more?  Also it's an enclosed garden so not sure how easy it would be to get even the miniest of mini tractors into it.  There's a side gate from the lane but then they'd have to either go under one of the two arches or over one of the flower beds that full of lovely stuff.....

    I might resort to just cleaning my patio instead.....

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  • FreeBear
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    Brie said:  Also it's an enclosed garden so not sure how easy it would be to get even the miniest of mini tractors into it.  There's a side gate from the lane but then they'd have to either go under one of the two arches or over one of the flower beds that full of lovely stuff.....
    You can get stump grinders that are not much wider than a lawn mower or wheel barrow. The really big tractor mounted ones are usually reserved for forestry jobs when they can't pull a stump out.

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